How can we allow ourselves to seek not to persuade but to understand, not to convince but to listen? Can we truly enable our curiosity and open up to a world of learning and opportunity?
It is a noticeable feature that the more complex, fluid and fast moving the world may appear to be the more we look for certainty. We seek out familiar routines, faces and opinions. While this may give us safe harbour in a stormy world we cannot stay there permanently.
If we try to stay permanently we find we get more and more isolated and unable to tap into these resources. Instead we feed on our own belief, our own opinions and those who share those beliefs, backgrounds or world view. But if there is no output, no movement this energy does one of two this. It either stagnates, as we see in rock pools, and creates a dark and uninviting place or it seeks to move to create and if blocked it explodes when the pressure becomes unbearable.
So in our own lives and organisations. When we become rigid we stagnate or create a pent up pressure we cannot control. This certainty blinds us to opportunity, the life blood of new ideas, people and views and disconnects us from possibility.
Every system needs flow; it needs inputs and outputs and the exchange between the two. That magic happens when various inputs collide and connect and create something new. How do we, as managers and leaders, develop the habit of accessing these opportunities and creating the conditions for exchange and creation?
Can I Embrace Curiosity and Respect?
What if we entered every conversation or interaction accepting and acknowledging not that I may be wrong but that you may be right; can I accept this idea that our different views may both have merit; that our ideas may not be mutually exclusive of that properly discussed that could not blend and transform to caret something better.
This opens us up to a resource we cannot deliver ourselves. It enables us to tap into the wisdom, skill sets and experience of those around us exponentially increasing the resources, creativity and energy at our disposal.
When do I do this?
I work with a lot of clients who tell me they will do this project or staff training or a workshop when “things settle down.” In my experience things never settle down; there will always be challenges and opportunities if we allow them. Even those who know they need to do something to get out of the vicious cycle they are in find ways to resist doing what they know they need to do.
We need to take a leap into the uncertainty when we see the certainty no longer serves us. When we see clients or customers who do not value us or managers or staff who are in the wrong jobs or a career which is not fulfilling us then we need to take a leap.
It may seem daunting to even slowly let go of familiar routines and expectations but when we take it inevitably it then seems a small step. We create time and space for new behaviours, new staff, new customers and new opportunities that will serve us better
Certainty does not come externally as we see how easily external events whether the weather, new technology, new laws etc can disrupt our business. Rather certainty comes when we find certainty in our own values and self-awareness, our willingness to trust and respect others, our capacity to embrace change then we will no longer look for certainty in external events. This new certainty is more sustainable, fulfilling and powerful.
Take a small step today. maybe do something new or ask a colleague to explain their point of view and just listen…. they might just have a point
If you wish to learn more about taking the step contact [email protected]