(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
This Distinction is about least effort with greatest return. You can accomplish many great outcomes by working hard, but you can also enjoy wonderful results more easily. A big part of the Coaching approach to life is to recognize when things are working well and flowing, and when you’re out of kilter and struggling. For things to get better you may want to stop fixing things so much.
Why? Because fixing is primarily about getting away from something. You tend to fix that which is wrong, bad, painful, not-the-way-you-want-it. Notice your feelings around all those. Not good. So, you fix things in an attempt to make them better. This certainly can work, but you’re attention is on that which is wrong.
To improve is a completely different attention — you’re looking at how you want things to become. Improving is a towards whereas fixing is an away-from.
“How can I have this be better?” opens up possibilities, including maybe not even doing anything about it right then and waiting for more clarity or for additional resources. Considering how you really wants things to be is an inherently open, creative process. Fixing tends to narrow your options.
Living in a constant stream of thoughts of improvement attracts more ideas and pleasing outcomes. And may even lead to never again having to fix anything!
Coaching Point: What is one improvement you would like to see right now?
Copyright 2010 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.