Steven's Own Words
When I ask my organizational clients what their greatest challenges are, one of the most common answers is communication — but that’s a 10,000 foot answer. What is the specific problem? Is communication poor, non-existent, incomplete, sometimes aggressive, wishy-washy…? What’s the problem? While there’s a hundred different ways in which communication can be a problem, one thing is consistent: bad communication destroys trust and causes people to pull back rather than reach out. How do you get that trust back…
I sent this wonderful Rumi translation in a previous blog and someone wrote back with a fascinating question: “I love that,” she wrote, “and I agree, but what do I do when I get to the field? I want to go, but I don’t know what to do when I get there.” I don’t pretend to be Rumi, but I have a guess. What I think we do is this: if we’re not worried about being right or changing another person’s mind, then there’s no reason for me to prove you’re wrong. So it doesn’t matter to me what you say; what matters is that you say it, and that I listen. That is the real objective in the field: Listening, Being Heard, Connection. Once you’ve found yourself in the field, your job is just to practice insatiable curiosity. If we’re only worried about connection, if that is our purpose — our objective — then we realize we do care for one another’s humanity, that we have something in common. It’s not about winning, therefore it’s not about losing, either; it’s about being. If I don’t intend to win, I’m not afraid of losing. If I’m not afraid of losing, then why not connect? Why not figure out what makes us similar, or at least what makes them, them? If we enter that field from that place of insatiable curiosity, and listen with hearts open, we’re bound to find ourselves with more meaningful relationships, with way less walls, and a great deal more compassion. Don’t you think…
In the immortal words of Rodney King: Can we all just get along? It would be so easy if it weren’t for the many people with whom we just disagree. How do we influence or lead those folks — when we come from such different places? Are we supposed to be able to? Aren’t some of our differences irreconcilable? I know I have opinions that I’m not willing to budge on; I’m sure you do, too. There are a great number of topics I will NEVER be able to agree with everyone on…but does that mean there’s no hope…
- What Your Team Most Needs Now March 24, 2020
- COVID-19 Is Calling For Better Questions March 20, 2020
- What Handshakes Can Teach Us About Communication March 10, 2020
- What Is In Rumi’s Field Beyond Right-doing and Wrong-doing? March 3, 2020
NEW Book: Leadership Just Got Personal
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