It’s hard to know what the best advice is. After all, it’s been a long 2016, and its shaping up to be an even longer 2017.
Here is a list of some ideas to keep you going in the year to come. Or too look back on and wonder what I was thinking:
Relational resonance—The reason that litigation is such a poor method for resolving disputes is because of most—if not all—disagreements, fights, and “differences of opinion,” are about relationships, built on reciprocation and maintained through common resonance.
What do you do after you thin slice another party in conflict? — Thin slicing is at the core of the old saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Yet, here’s the challenge: If you can’t even handle being challenged on your thin-slicing tendencies daily, then expecting that a candidate running for office, a celebrity, or some other person to do what you cannot, is a childish expectation.
No more looking…just leap…— Having the courage to make a change, take an action, do something generous, collaborative, or outrageous, and to do despite the dominant culture of your organization is the essence of leap day. This courage has nothing to do with looking (you’ve already spent an inordinate amount of time looking already) and has everything to do with stepping out and saying: I made this.
Doing what you’ve always done— Intentionality is the watchword in conflict. But, you do have an alternative. You can always keep intentionally doing what you’ve always done and hope that changes will result.
We are surrounded everywhere by the remains of “average”— We are surrounded by the remains of “ok” in a time when “ok” is no longer good enough. And when the disconnect between “ok” and reality reaches a breaking point, we get demagogues, marketers, con men, flim-flam men, and others selling us a bill of goods, rather than the hard truth: “Ok” was never good enough and doing “just a little better” than last year isn’t going to get the same outcome financially, morally, ethically, or materially anymore.
There is a difference between broadcasting, sharing, and interacting, both in the physical world and in the digital world— Broadcasting, sharing and interacting are happening at all levels in our society; and, our digital tools have provided us with the ease of communicating faster and faster. But this also means that our responses to conflicts in our lives become more shallow and immediate, even as the reactions cut us emotionally at a deeper and deeper level.
What are your core values? — Values are not positions (which are often about personal (and sometimes public) identity or maintaining “face”) nor are they about interests (which are often flexible, negotiable, situational, and impersonal). And too often in our public language, at work, at school, in social media, and other places, we use the language of principles to talk about positions—or even worse, to justify mere interests.
There are no shortcuts to accomplishing anything. Boy, do I wish that there were…— The quality, or trait, of getting up and doing what needs to be done, particularly when you don’t want to do it, is sometimes called “will” or “grit” or “courage.”
But these are fancy labels for something a lot deeper that we can’t really describe. And anybody who wants to make a dent in the universe, no matter how big or small, must possess this trait in great quantities if they are to make the dent they want to make.
The impresario’s dilemma is balancing between quantity and quality— When there is so much ephemeral stuff (such as content, ideas, and art), considerations around quality become the watchword for monitoring and disengaging with ideas that we find to be reprehensible. But keep in mind that, once you increase the quantity, quality only suffers when caring about the outcome takes a second place to getting the outcome to happen.
The leap (hey, I wrote about leaping again this year!) from the inside to the outside is going on right now— The deep revelation of the revolution called the Internet, is that it continues to demonstrate that networks are the most valuable resource that an individual, a corporation, or a government possesses to leverage innovation, change, and advancement.
The fundamentals changed this election year. This is rarely a metaphorically bloodless act. And it was not bloodless this year…— People place a lot of importance in understanding, revisiting, and honoring the fundamentals of a problem, because they come, not from conceived wisdom, or even perceived wisdom, but from received wisdom.
Demanding a return to the fundamentals can be a callback to received wisdom, but only if the current problem resembles a past one in any kind of way. And problems involving people, rather than processes, are constantly in flux.
Conspiracy theories abounded at the end of the year. So, here’s a tip about how to deal with all of that…— The standing rule is that people tend to most easily believe in conspiracy theories that they create, and tend to reject the conspiratorial thinking of others.
The trouble with our concerns about fake news is that they come from a place where critical thinking has been reduced in favor of playing to (and supporting) audience attention spans that rival hummingbirds.
In 2017, let’s all commit to growing the size of our ears to hear, our eyes to read, and our brain to absorb, rather than just our voices to speak.