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The Tangled Garden Hose, and How Did it Happen?

July 24, 2013

Posted in: Blog, Personal, Professional

garden hose

I don’t think I’m the only one who experiences this phenomenon of summer.

They’re a curious thing – garden hoses. I don’t know how it happens, but it happens often. I swear I’m almost compulsive about winding up garden hoses at the end of the day. Making sure it’s nice and round and flat and in its proper circle. But almost without fail, when I come back to those same hoses, they are as tangled as a plate of spaghetti. How does this happen? I did not weave this into a knot and I’m pretty sure no one else did either, but yet somehow, in the middle of the night something happens so that in the morning, when I go to grab the sprinkler its hose is snaked, woven and basically confused as to which way it is to be stretched out onto my yard. How do I approach this tangled, twisted mess I’ve gotten myself into?

Well, for sure what I don’t want to do is grab one end and pull as hard as I can in order to straighten it out. Too often one of the kids thinks that the best way to fix the problem is to pull, yank and whip it into submission.  That’s a guarantee that it will only make things worse. Instead, carefully study it, lay it out, look at the mess and interpret how to reverse the situation. Oftentimes if we take just a few minutes to examine the mess we can start to see where it takes a turn for the worse.

Sounds a lot like how we can find ourselves in a tangled mess in our relationships at work, with our teams, or with those who are most dear to us.

Before you rush to “fix” the haywire by pulling it straight with your own agenda at heart, wait a second. Step back, look closer, look at both ends and soon enough you may see that the best way to straighten it out is for you to resist pulling it your own way.

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How often when a relationship threatens to tangle up you pull harder?

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