Maybe you’re not seeing because you’re not looking.

23 11 2015

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~Aristotle

Whether it’s at the family thanksgiving table, or in the office, I tend to stay away from topics like religion and politics.  I’ve learned the hard way that most people are pretty entrenched in their opinion, and don’t really care what your opinion is on these subjects.  At best, most people are giving me a chance to talk so that they can then rebut me with some canned and ingrained bit of “well, the truth of it is…”  At worst, they talk over me, or even yell and call names.  Rarely is there someone enlightened enough to listen, consider a different view, and maybe even respect it if they don’t accept it.

As leaders, you’re going to work for and with other leaders who might not lead the way that you do.  You might think of them as yellers, they might seem passive-aggressive, or they might even look like pushovers.  Even if those traits are somewhat there, they still might have other good qualities that you’re not seeing because you’re not looking.  A yeller might be important when you need to get a group’s attention quickly.  A passive aggressive person might have a good reason for not doing what you ask (you need to find that out).  Pushovers might just have the most loyal staff, because they never say no.  When you bucket people and write them off, you’re doing the same thing that the religious zealots or the opinionated political uncle at the Thanksgiving table are.

Speaking of Thought…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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