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  • Ronan Harrington

Wonder Questions



When I catch myself in a defensive, blaming mindset as a resilience strategist, I ask myself two things.:


If humility were my highest goal, what would I do?


And then:


What if it were easy?


These are wonder questions, and when we pose them, they have an uncanny ability to shift our mental state.


The psychology behind this is that when experiencing stress, our fight, flight freeze response will send a crisis communiqué through our body. When our ego senses a threat, it will dig its heels in and go into a defensive posture where it becomes committed to being right. It cannot tell the difference between a threat to physical safety and identity, so this is a maladaptive way of ensuring its survival.


We all know the feeling of being in a heated argument with our partner where we won't budge until they admit they are wrong! It's very easy to stay here and view the world through this lens. Everything becoming more difficult, and on some level we want it to be because that reinforces our identity as a victim, someone whose life is hard.


In most situations, there is often a very easy, elegant solution once we look at things more expansively. Half the trick is allowing ourselves to entertain this possibility.


The art of leadership is being able to recognise when we have unconsciously gone into a place where we are closed, defensive, and committed to being right, and shift ourselves out of this place.


For a deeper dive on this, I recommend the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership by Jim Dethmer and Diana Chapman.


I am a wellbeing keynote speaker and a resilience strategist. If you'd like to learn about my two-day offsite on the ten mindsets and behaviours that are key to scaling a healthy, high-performance culture, contact me.


"For me and my team, this has been a hugely informative, bordering on transformative, process... this has been - without a doubt - the most impactful leadership training I've ever undertaken."



This piece was originally shared as a post on my LinkedIn and inspired by day-to-day insights from my own experience with burnout and my work as a wellbeing keynote speaker and resilience strategist.


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