Is it a problem to fix or a pattern to heal?
There is so much power in the shifting of focus from a ‘problem to fix’ to a ‘pattern to heal’. Patterns are found all around us – it is impossible to step into nature without being surrounded by them. Our existence as humans is no different. We and the systems in which we exist (home, work, social) are made up of patterns and they all exist for a reason – even the ones that are inhibiting us. My brilliant friend and colleague, Dr. Maria Katsarou-Makin, put it so succinctly when she said, ‘Patterns don’t lie’. It is so simple, but it truly is the core of what we do as coaches and consultants – we start by looking for and uncovering patterns that are getting in the way.
At one point in time, these patterns allowed for survival in one way or another. However, sometimes old patterns become ineffective as things change (ex: the people around us, the market conditions, and circumstances) and this is often when they begin to surface as ‘problems’ that we want to ‘fix’.
When we look at definitions, to fix means to settle on, decide, or repair. Heal, on the other hand, refers to the process of making sound, whole, or healthy again. Thinking about actions associated with each of these terms:
● Fixing feels faster, get it done, and check the box.
● Healing feels slower, more deliberate, and is a process.
There is also a feeling of compassion and care associated with healing. It feels more humane. We fix things that are made of bolts and screws; we heal our bodies, minds, and relationships.
We often talk about ‘going slow to go fast’ and this is how I think about the shift from fixing problems to healing patterns. It is more of a process to truly uncover the pattern, why it exists, the impact it has had on the system and people over time, allow for new options to emerge, and move forward – but, once you have gone through the process, you will be able to go much faster with fewer bumps in the road ahead because you have allowed for healing to take place in the system and the people.
We want healthy organizational systems where we can thrive and innovate – to have them, we must allow for healing to occur. It is in the process that we are able to truly release the old pattern and shift to new, more beneficial patterns going forward. This allows for ‘problems’ to be fixed, but from a place of clarity and abundance of options while working in a more humane and psychologically safe way.
At Holonix, we got into this work to help people have a better day at work. ‘Fixing problems’ only gets us so far in that mission. Healing patterns brings us to thriving and this is where we really make our impact.
Let’s explore how we can help you thrive and get to the next level.