Things are just what they are, not what we think they are, regardless of the brilliance of our point of view or strength of our belief system. Take gravity, for example; it acts on each of us exactly the same, irrespective of what we think or feel about it. Being the intellectual creatures that we are, we love to persuade each other that our perspective of how the world works is right. If we disagree with someone, and still have to maintain a viable, working relationship with them, we then resolve to … well, agree to disagree.
There was a period in our history, a very long period, where we were quite certain the earth was flat. People who dared challenge this “fact,” well established by conventional wisdom, often found themselves in a less than favorable situation. Yet, as far as we know, the planet has always been round. Synergy is yet another phenomenon that is what it is. For a whole to actually be greater than the sum of its parts, those parts have to interact interdependently … no if’s, no and’s, no but’s.
Interdependence involves proximity of engagement, involvement, cooperation, understanding – much too intimate for some folks’ comfort. True interdependence challenges us to uncover the unconscious bias we walk around with, and the resulting confirmation bias we use to validate our existing ideas and beliefs about other people and the world around us is right.
When we encounter anything contradictory to our own ideology, say from people we might not fully understand orfeel comfortable with, we tend to disregard this new data rather than confront our own biases to make sure our assumptions are based on accurate information.
If our End In Mind is to be more effective in leadership, management, sales, or customer service, then we must accept that people and situations really are what they are – not what we perceive them to be. And sometimes (hang on to your hat) we could be wrong (imagine that).
We would be well served to first uncover and overcome our own biases so that we are in a better position to help others deal with theirs.
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