Last night right before I went to bed, I learned about the shooting deaths of 3 more police officers – this time in Baton Rouge. It is heart-breaking and tempting to feel helpless, as angry people continue to destroy lives and rock our world with bombings, shootings, and even trucks.
This time felt even more personal, as I used to live in Baton Rouge and drove and worked where the shooting took place. And in the time I was there, I fell deeply in love with the people, the city and the state of Louisiana.
I woke early this morning and immediately checked the news for updates and prayed.
A short time later, I was reminded that exactly three years ago today I posted an article about pain and anger as I tried to process the Trevon Martin case.
- Three more years of conflict.
- Three more years of finger pointing and blaming.
Clearly – What we’re doing isn’t working, as the conflicts are becoming more frequent and more violent.
I’m delighted to share a guest post from Daniel Buhr in the series on Disagreement. Daniel was one of the co-authors of the book Energize Your Leadership. He works in health and safety at a Fortune 500 Company and shares his passion for leadership at cybuhr.com and @Cybuhr on Twitter.
Heels dug in? Check.
Ears closed? Check.
Mind made up? Check.
Bring on the discussion, I’m ready. There’s no way I’m going to lose this one!
Everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven’t. -REALLY!
But far too often we are too busy, proud, judgmental, and afraid to dive in and try to discover what those things are.
This morning I watched this unfold on a friend’s Facebook feed:
Last week someone asked how I was feeling about a particular topic.
I answered from the heart. I was struggling. I was viewing something with fresh eyes and could clearly see that years of doing something had created a comfort zone where there is risk. Today that comfort zone is so big that unnecessary risks are being taken without a second thought.
Instead of really listening, this person attempted to explain away my concerns with something that sounded a bit like this, “We’ve always done it this way and we’ve never had a problem…”
When the conversation ended I felt like a puppy dog that had been patted on the head and dismissed.
I felt frustrated about being asked to share my thoughts, when the person asking did not demonstrate any desire to hear them.
As I was tempted to dwell on the frustration I made my mind switch gears and consider another perspective:
This post was originally featured on SmartBlog for Leadership after 20 years of experiences and a very thought-provoking blog written by Jesse Lyn Stoner….
Have you ever been frustrated by name-calling, finger-pointing and the blame game? Or watched how harsh judgments can divide people, divide organizations and result in inefficiency and ineffectiveness?
For 20 years, I’ve observed the impact that judgment has on relationships, families, organizations, neighbors, communities and nations.
When I was a youth director, I noticed that when teens with a strong vision for their own lives said “no” to what was popular to stay focused on personal goals, their peers frequently perceived that they were being judged — even when they weren’t. They in turn judged the teens with vision.
That perception of judgment frequently caused the teens without vision to band together and alienate or bully the teen with clear vision, leaving scars and closing opportunities for both groups to learn from each other.
I watched this same behavior take place in neighborhoods, workplaces, politics, churches and different parts of the world. Sometimes those judgments were real and sometimes they were imagined. Sometimes individuals suffered alone. Often, however, those judgments affected the way people worked together, problems were solved, opportunities were maximized and organizations and economies grew or shrunk.
Collaboration means respecting the people who see things differently, rather than assuming a superior attitude and dismissing them as evil, crazy or out of touch with reality. — Jesse Lyn Stoner