Clearly, this is a time of disruption and uncertainty. It is not easy. We are seeing more and more challenges in our lives, workplaces and world. Some of the challenges such as inequities and environmental issues seem unsurmountable. How do we collectively come together to address these challenges when we have such different perspectives?
It is easy to challenge and blame others for not seeing or understanding what is apparent to us. I recall often the experiment that I share in my OASIS Conversations course. In this classic experiment, conducted by Daniel J. Simons, participants are asked to count how many times a ball is passed between people in white shirts. With this focus, more than half of participants fail to see a person dressed in a gorilla costume walk out and through the group throwing the balls. We have limited ability for attention to take in all of the observable data that is available. This is our human condition. This makes it more understandable when others do not see what for us is so clear. The way to develop next steps and answers to address the challenges related to race, inequities and other issues is to engage in real dialogue.
Rather than judging and blaming each other or forcing our views on others, we need to listen to one another and with compassionate curiosity understand what others are experiencing. Then we collectively need to create new ways of living and working together.
You’ve heard Einstein’s adage “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.” It will take leaders to encourage empathy, shifting from “me” to “we” thinking and to collectively explore new solutions to create an environment that works for all.
We can each be a leader in our sphere. We need to acknowledge our own emotions and embrace the uncertainty, and with an open-mind and open-heart we can be optimistic about new possibilities.
I believe a critical practice for resilience and thriving is to ask ourselves often, “Are you open?” And then we need to acknowledge our thoughts and emotions with kindness. Then step back, cool down and shift to being open. When we are open, we are prepared to listen, learn and collectively co-create a positive future.
Make being open your intention.
You are welcome to learn more on June 5 at this webinar.