It’s been a sad, sad week.
Today is the last day of February and tomorrow is Mardi Gras, but there has not been much to celebrate these last days of Carnival. Not only was there little activity in the countries where in pre-Covid Carnival there used to be parties and parades; in these days, who does really want to celebrate, when the world is stunned by the actions of a madman playing war games at the expenses of real people? There are no words and there is probably not much to do for most of us, other than to continue to speak up in support of peace, respect and human decency.
Since my work in the last 10 years has been focused on turning disagreements and conflicts into opportunities to learn, grow, and co-create, transforming unproductive and sterile confrontations into productive evolution, I have occasionally been asked whether my models and methods can be applied to politics or diplomacy, to help in the peace process.
They can, of course, as long as there is a foundation made of a common intention (to progress peacefully by learning from everyone) and of shared values (respect for differences, curiosity, generosity, fairness and … common sense).
Unfortunately, the political arena – at least at high levels – is too often woven around exclusion rather than inclusion (“vote for me or against me”; “we against them”, and so on). So, no: my models and methods are not immediately applicable to confrontational situations, unless we first take care of the starting point: creating a common intention and aligning on shared values.
Even in our everyday’s work we may sometimes “go to war” against other people who are simply going about their peaceful business; we may take innocent comments as personal attacks and attack back; we might accumulate dissatisfaction for a difficult relationship and then surprise others with a sudden explosion of repressed anger; or we might patiently listen – without really trying to understand – to someone who sees the world through a completely different lens, until we have enough evidence to label the person as a “lesser human being” and to move away.
Mind, we often do this instinctively ad unintentionally, and there are certainly good reasons why our DNA makes us at times more defensive-aggressive than necessary, or our mind may take short cuts resulting in prejudice; but we can learn to develop the necessary awareness to “catch our bad instincts and correct” as long as we have a clear intention to work on it. Far before we start to apply the CLEAR Mindset Model and learn the 5 steps of the Methodology, we must begin by building the foundation.
The one thing that is sometimes difficult to accept is that diversity is actually a nightmare. It IS difficult! Discussing with people of different views is hard, takes time, creates frustrations, seems to be too much and to take too long … yes, that is why it is so important to learn to pay attention and understand where other people come from, exactly because we would not usually come to those thoughts in a hundred years.
Now, does listening and understanding mean giving up on our own ideas? Of course not! We are not in a competition on who is right and who is wrong. The thing is that we can merge different insights and gain a better understanding of any given issues, which in turn makes us progress.
This is why I am weary of the talks around D&I. It sounds like Diversity and Inclusion by definition go together, but they are very different concepts, they are based on different intentions and meet different goals. Actually, we should start to work on Inclusion in all homogeneous groups, because every human being is different and if we do not respect the different ideas in a homogeneous group, how can we do it when we add big differences?
I will say more about this in the upcoming Courageous Conversations Webinars (see below and remember that it is offered free of charge to Clients and Readers of Newsletter; just use the promo code HOLIDAY2021CODE in the paying section)
And I am of course always happy to design a specific “INCLUSION and INNOVATION via COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS Program” for your teams, using the CLEAR Mindset Model and Method.
Lead with a Smile!
Managing Partner, Grooa AS
Registered company, HQ address: Manglerudveien 93, 0678 Oslo (Norway)
Visiting address: Grooa Inspiria Learning Center, Den Hoek 33, 5421XG Gemert (Netherlands)
CONVERSATIONS WITH GROOA
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Start Date on YouTube: January 26
Addressing your most pressing questions about leadership, strategy, business collaborations, delegation, priority setting, stress and much more. Practical tips, short stories, metaphors and anecdotes. First Episodes Titles:
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“Dealing with a Dumping Boss”
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We strongly believe that diversity of ideas is the birthplace of all human advances, evolving towards world peace. We also know it takes time and effort to synergise, so we spend time together, also socially, in person when possible.
Because of the unique CLEAR Mindset methodology, Grooa was recognised as one of the top 10 providers of Leadership Development training and coaching in Europe by HR Magazine.
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