In a recent conversation, it was discussed how in politics and governance, policies and laws are made by politicians/leaders who say to us “Oooo look, we have done this”, proudly pointing to the boxes they have ticked. Yet at the same time, blurring out the work, that didn’t quite reach the mark, for those they intended to serve or the people, they overlooked. Their boxes are ticked. Their job, done.
I think that is such an interesting observation. It highlighted for me two things.
Firstly that for the most part, we are all trying our best to do good work – but where we trip up, is when we take our worldview and we apply it to groups of people without considering theirs. Is our “helpful” – actually helpful to them?
Considering another’s perspective is not something you can do with the quick wipe of a damp cloth. You have to be prepared to seek genuine understanding by asking direct questions, and openly listening to hear responses that might challenge the rightness of your thinking, potentially leading you… requiring you, to rethink your beliefs, change tack, or even start over.
And secondly, it reminded me of my own tendency to not ask questions that might lead me to answers I’m not looking for (like my tree story).
It concerns me how often legislation is passed through, often under the guise of it being urgent, to avoid the very conversations that might challenge them. The very conversations, that might make things better.
If politicians want to make things better, and you and I want to make things better, we need to first fully understand the problem and that can only happen when we are prepared to hear the answers, whatever they are, from the people we’re trying to help.
And we need to stop putting things into place – laws, regulations, what-have-you, when we know full well – there are people, who should be considered and most definitely consulted.
The Arbinger Institute and its work on outward mindsets – is important: People who choose to dismiss the needs and objectives of others end up searching for a way to justify that choice.
In my experience, that’s a harder box to tick.