I was training with my dog this morning and it was definitely a "set-back day". We had been making so much fun progress on connecting and "dancing" together. But today seemed to revert to times past, when she didn't even seem to know I existed.
There was a fresh scent of some other animal in the yard and this was waaaaaay more interesting than connecting with me. Not only was this frustrating, but it was hard for me not to devolve into "I don't really matter" in my head. I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. But then I thought, "She has so much energy right now. Wouldn't it be great if I could connect with her at that energy level instead of the one I was expecting? What could we accomplish then?"
The same thing happens with people. Maybe you have several teams members that were making a lot of progress on a particular project, then one day they come in excitedly energized by... something else. People are easily distracted by things, which can be frustrating. But that distraction brings with it an increase in energy that could be useful for the work at hand.
When the energy level with whomever we're working is lower than we expected, we just say we didn't accomplish much that day. But when it's higher, it usually feels like a set-back. How come?
I decided to meet Yebo where she was, energetically. We went over to the tree, where her focus was. Then we engaged in an intense session of "pushing" (a dog training exercise developed by Kevin Behan), where she could focus and utilize that energy at the same level that it built up in her. Because I provided the resistance for her to channel her pent up energy, we were connecting on a very high level. It was then very easy to move from that into our work of the day. But now our work was being done at a higher intensity than usually, so it was both unusually productive and much more fun.
You can do the same with people. You need to meet them where they're at, energetically, then re-focus them by offering up a challenge (some resistance to overcome) on the current project that needs energy put into it.
There is no actual regression happening when you experience a "set-back". The feeling of a set-back just means that you are not working with the energy on hand. Instead, you're trying to work with the energy you thought you were going to have that day.
Once you say to yourself, "we're having a set-back today", that's your clue that you're not fully present - that you're trying to work with what you thought you were going to have, not what you actually have. As soon as you realize that, you can let go of your plans and work with what you actually have. This will be a great opportunity to hone a skill at a different level.
Many times, once you meet someone where they're at energetically, you can end up with a deeper connection than you would have had otherwise because of the higher level of energy present in the system. Then these "set-backs" become breakthrough sessions.