Saturday, April 22, 2017

Embrace the differences

Ever since the Brexit vote, there has been uncertainties and discomfort. First, nobody could believe the need for isolation. Then there was this complicated process of divorce from the European Union. Now, there is a question of snap general election. What is the need for it? Is it another way of shirking responsibility? Is it a clever decision to gain majority? I understand the need for majority. You see this phenomenon play out at workplace too.

Every one complains about long meetings without producing any tangible outcome. Have you contemplated on the why? We get into a meeting to have a consensus and it is not easy to arrive at one when they are differing views. As we become increasingly busy, our reserves of energy and patience are easily depleted. Hence we dread long winded discussion about the pros and cons. We prefer to hear ayes instead of nays. It is easier to get ayes from a like-minded group.

Though I do not possess infinite supplies of energy, I do not denouce clash of opinions. In fact, I encourage it. The different viewpoints add the much needed drama in our life. We may always steer differences into consensus always. But that is not the reason to fear differences. On the contrary, it is all the more reasons to embrace it. The age of healthy debate is dying at workplace. The fear of security is bringing silence. The irritation of discussion is leading to ousters.

Recently, I heard a discussion between two friends. They had come out of an unpleasant meeting and comparing notes. One of them was praising the other. The leader was suggesting impractical solutions. The first friend showed him the cons of the approach. So the second friend was praising his bold approach. The rest of the people were silent and the first friend was the only courageous person to voice his opinion. Once the second friend finished his praises, the first friend said. "I am the only one giving unpleasant news to the leader. This may be the reason I am moved into a different team."

We cannot change others. But we can change ourselves. When someone gives you a different viewpoint, listen to their view. Try to understand why they are saying so. Don't be afraid for a debate in your life. Who doesn't like a good drama? Without drama, it is a mundane boring life.


Photo Courtesy: Rodrigo Soldon

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