Free to Speak: Are your words building or dividing?

Chery Gegelman Winning Well International SymposiumPeople that work with winning well leaders...
Last week, I leveraged some extreme examples from our time in the Middle East to emphasize 6 Ways to Transform a Divisive Culture  in the Winning Well International Symposium.
 
This week, I’m sharing more of our experiences and encouraging each of you to apply some of those learning’s to your lives and leadership.

Have you ever pondered the reasons or benefits of free speech?

  • In nations?
  • Or workplaces?

The purpose of being able to speak freely

Obviously speaking freely is not allowed in many nations or workplaces.

That choice:
  • Lowers leadership accountability and potential.
  • Impacts the way two people or thousands of people work together.
  • Determines how well resources are utilized and how quickly problems are solved.
  • Limits the overall health, effectiveness, and future of their workplace or nation.

Speech was controlled in the place we lived for four years, in many ways.  Below are a few examples:

Are You FULLY Leveraging Your Freedom To Dialogue?

Problem Solving Starts Here!

As many of you know, I’m living in a part of the world where many freedoms that I once took for granted – don’t exist.  -Now don’t get me wrong I agreed to move here, to seek first to understand and to learn.  So I’m not complaining.  …But I absolutely must share what I’m learning.

Have you ever considered that…

  • In countries where sharing research and opinions puts liberty and lives at risk – citizens are being taught that it is safer not to think
  • In countries that allow freedom of speech, traditional journalists have done so much of the work for citizens – that we’ve allowed ourselves to become lazy thinkers
  • Dialogue is a way for us to seek truth, gain new perspectives, build relationships, and solve problems
  • Dialogue is also a freedom that many take for granted

What does FREEDOM mean to You?

Is there a gap between "what is" and "what could be"?

I published this post this summer just before the U.S.A. celebrated Independence Day!  

  • I am republishing now because January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and it is the fastest growing crime in the world.
  •  And January is also the month that we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. for all of the work he did to bring freedom to others.

As a U.S. Citizen, I grew up being very proud of:

  • My country – where people came to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • My family – who left everything behind in their countries of origin because of oppression and poverty and came to the U.S. to pursue those ideals.

And even prouder of:  My relatives and friends that served to defend the freedom of others.

Moving to the big sandbox we live in now took lots of prayer and courage because many of the freedoms I always cherished don’t exist here.  …But we came believing that we were supposed to seek to understand and to learn.

We weren’t here very long when a neighbor challenged me to consider that Americans don’t have a corner on the market on freedom.  I accepted her challenge and have been listening and experiencing for a little more than two years. And although we don’t have it all figured out yet, this is a bit of what we are learning…

THANK THEM for a freedom we should never take for granted…

“I have read that…  If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million other people in the world.  If you can attend worship services at church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed then three billion people in the world.”  Kay Warren

That quote helps to express why I’ve said for years that if you cut me I bleed red, white and blue.  Today as I live in a foreign land with significantly less freedoms than the one I call home, that quote is even more true.

I simply love America!  ~No I’m not proud of every part of our history, but oh how I believe in our vision:  We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men were created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness!

I’m an American because my ancestors heard that vision from across the ocean, because they could imagine it, because they could feel it, because it felt like the very best possible gift they could give it to their children and grandchildren, because they took a giant leap of faith and left everything to move to the land of the free.

How to Choose Your Response to Situations Beyond Your Control

Increasing understanding, critical thinking, compassion and collaboration

Viktor Frankl survived a concentration camp and said this…

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

Post Charlottesville conflict continues to fill the airwaves and cyberspace, encouraging chaos and division.

…So how have you been responding?  Are you:

  1. Denying that this conflict is impacting real lives, workplaces and communities?
  2. Pushing your perspective on others?
  3. Sitting in silence and worrying about it?
  4. Studying the issues, and then carrying your candle into the darkness, determined to be a part of the solution?

IF YOU SEEK TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION:

The process below will help you fully leverage your freedom, while strategically using both your mind and your heart.