Welcome to the sixth edition of my LeaderLike You! Newsletter! Six months has flown by and at the same time, has probably been the most challenging six months we shall remember. We have all grown in some way and we should feel proud of ourselves for getting through, together. A huge thank you to anyone who has sent their success stories over the last 4 weeks.
Please feel free to send your business or personal success stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may just feature in a future newsletter!
As you know, I use this space to share inspiring leadership and communication techniques with the LLY community, and I’m grateful for this opportunity. I have been inspired by many and continue to be.
This month, I would like to present to you R.A.I.N. – (no, not the weather type!) …
“When it rains it pours. Maybe the art of life is to convert tough times to great experiences: we can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.”
― Joan Marques
When it rains it pours, you may have heard this phrase. R.A.I.N. is an approach to greater personal resolution and resources.
Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture and Non-identification.
When less than good things happen to us, we have several choices; we can move to pain and sink into the situation, blaming ourselves or others. Or we can positively process the situation with compassion and mindfulness.
I recently worked with my colleague Bruno Thiveland he reminded me of a fantastic process called R.A.I.N. which is an acronym to initiate 4 distinct processes created by the wonderful Tara Brach.
R : Recognize what is happening
A : Allow the experience to be there
I : Investigate with interest and care
N : Nurture with self-compassion and non-identification
I’ve heard many versions of the acronym. Whatever the case, RAIN helps me calm down, become re-connected to myself and my purpose, and chose a leaderlike path.
RAIN is valuable for self or with others (teams, for example) and can even be used as a meditation tool, to move through the steps whenever negative feelings arise. Here are the questions and statements I use at each step. I’ll share a recent example.
I was rushing to get some work prepared for several deadlines after my annual holiday. I forgot some important papers in my office which were necessary for a meeting I had scheduled and then drove to (about an hour from my office). I used RAIN to process as follows:
- R – Recognize what is happening in the moment. What’s present, what’s missing – not what’s wrong. At this stage I was seeking to understand. Here’s my inner dialogue.
“OK, Robert, I printed the documents I needed for work today and left them at my office which is now too far away to go and get them as my client appointment is in 20 minutes. That’s the status”.
I also started to recognize the feelings of stress and concern rising within me. What helped me is to name what was happening during the experience. My breath was shorter and faster, my heart was racing, and I was experiencing anxiety. I wanted to process without suffering. What was my story? What fears do I have?
- A – Allow the experience to be there, just as it is – no judgments, no values. I was telling myself I was not very organized and rather a hopeless planner! How could I have left the papers at my office? I let the anxiety just be there, no fear, no fighting, no blame. I identified the feelings in my body physically. I usually have a response to anxiety rushing through my body. It was happening now.
- I – Investigate with interest and care means I can start to ask myself what I might do now. How could I alleviate this anxiety and become pragmatic and productive “in the moment”? Later, once the immediate urgency was over, I analyzed what mitigating strategies I could use to avoid this in the future. What could I do to help myself move forward?
- N – Nurture with self-compassion and non-identification. Nurture is what made me feel better and remove the overwhelm. I asked myself how I could support myself in the moment. i.e. by breathing deeply and thinking of solutions. Sometimes focusing, grounding, relaxing and letting go can be enough.
This is the phase where I’m simply able to verbalize, “I’ve forgotten what I thought were important documents, now I need to be a resource to myself and others by finding the best approach.” In this case, I simply realized I could tell the client, walk them through what I recalled from the documents, and then provide the originals later. Turns out we had a great meeting! In the end, the documents were not even that important. When I studied what was in the proposal – I had everything I needed to conduct the session.
- N – also stands for “Non-identification” which means we shouldn’t anchor ourselves into any negative blame, “I’m so stupid, so disorganized.” It means we must avoid such phrases as: “I’m such a…” It means I should stay in the positive zone. This is not easy as we are conditioned to name ourselves an others adopting negative labels.
If you want to go straight to the source click here.
RAIN helps me to circumvent the negative stories and be proactive, moving forward. It encourages me to care for myself, without the suffering and beating myself up. When I practice RAIN I realize I’m only human, feelings come and go and that I have what it takes to get through these turbulent times.
After RAIN comes the peace. It helps me. I would love to hear your experiences. RAIN is not just for me, it’s for the world. It’s an opportunity to rise above obstacles and then move into positive approaches.
Enjoy the RAIN
Stay at peace with yourself, at peace with others and be leaderlike.
Look forward to bringing you a story next month,