This post is the second post in a series on the challenges and opportunities that come from disagreement. The first post was titled, What if… YOU disagree with someone? –Do you lob word grenades, judge and flee, or engage and learn?
This post is a guest post from Dan Forbes and filled with additional feedback from people who attended the Lead with Giants Tweet Chat on this topic a week ago.
Dan Forbes is a Certified Executive & Leadership Coach, Speaker, Facilitator, Workshop Leader, and founder of Lead With Giants, LLC. He helps individuals, teams, and companies elevate their Conversational Intelligence® (C-IQ®) to build trust, effectiveness, performance, and results.
What If We Disagree? Seventy-five leaders gathered in the #LeadWithGiants tweet chat on Twitter to explore this topic. I’m the tweet chat host and Chery Gegelman was my guest host.
During the course of the chat we tweeted out 10 questions for participants to answer. Our audience included educators, coaches, consultants, business owners, and others who love the topic of leadership. It resulted in over 5 million tweet impressions.
Q1 – What if we disagree?
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:
When my husband said we were asked to move to a giant sandbox on the other side of the world my stomach churned so hard I had to sit down.
How was this possible? We said we would go ANYWHERE in the world except – THERE! Scenes from movies and the news melded with my own fears and questions were fired off so rapidly my husband could not reply.
A “yes” wasn’t possible if I could not change my thinking:
- From the losses to the possible gains.
- From the challenges to the possible opportunities.
- From fear to faith.
Over the past few months I’ve had several opportunities to visit with groups of people whose lives are being impacted by policies they don’t like or agree with.
Most of them have communicated their concerns with the first level key stakeholder – hoping for a fast change. Now it’s clear that although that person cares, change can’t happen from that level.
So individually some of them have:
- Sent one email to the decision maker.
- Sent more than one email to the decision maker.
- Sent one email and attended one meeting.
Collectively their over-riding belief is that the key-stakeholder can’t be trusted and change just isn’t going to happen.
So most have stopped communicating while others never bothered to communicate directly with the one person that can make change happen.
At the same time, they are still so troubled by the situation that each time the topic comes up, almost all of them continue to express lots of frustration and absorb the not so positive energy of those around them.
So why persist?
Have you ever been at the top of your game and:
- Graduated into adulthood to start your career?
- Transitioned from the military to the civilian world?
- Experienced a life-altering event that forced you to start over?
- Decided to leave what you’ve always done to pursue an uncommon path?
In the space between what you left and what you were pursuing… Did you struggle?
Did you feel your confidence tanking as you: Worked to learn and define your new role and become successful at it, while navigating a culture and politics that were foreign to you?