we disagree with someone
we can intend
to be right
by telling them
we can intend
to make them right
by connecting their words
to a context in which
The option to do
is almost always
May we ask ourselves
why we choose
When it rains,
you can passively get wet
or actively feel
and every rain drop
on every corner
of your body.
Let us reflect
on what gives rise
to the differences.
Words often mislead us.
This is normal.
I spent much of my first book
talking about how words like
had misled me.
Words do often lead our attention.
Yet, where the attention is led
can surprise us,
because words only have meaning in context,
And that context resides
not only with the person uttering the word,
but also the person interpreting it.
So much of our verbal disagreements happen
because we are unwilling
to let others lead our attention
to their meaning.
We’re more interested in arguing
that their use of the word is “wrong” or “bad,”
while our use is “right” or “good.”
Except we’re back to the problem solver’s mindset.
Let us be honest.
Is this mindset helping us solve the problem?
It may be time
to the paradox dissolver’s mindset.
If an “event” that happens is the tip of the iceberg,
“context” is the rest of the iceberg.
If my saying something is an event,
its context includes
When we hear what others say,
we often use the first context that comes to mind
to make meaning from their words.
This can lead to misunderstandings.
We only understand the words of others
when we interpret their words
in conjunction with a context sufficiently similar
to the context that gave rise to their words.
So to better understand the word of others,
we often need to momentarily let go
of the first context that comes to mind.
Some of you replied to my last email asking how micro-managing can be good.
I’ll answer in a roundabout way.
My clients aspire to do good as leaders.
Good to employees, customers,…
It’s like wanting to be good parents.
Who can argue with that?
The irony is that trying to do good has not made an impact or made things worse.
This is one reason why realizing empathy is so critical.
We have an image of what “good” looks like.
But that’s what we think.
Doesn’t mean others will also appreciate the image as “good.”
I owe one of my most amazing growth experience to being micro-managed.
To be empathic is to be context-sensitive.
Our “good(s)” are unappreciated? We’ve misunderstood the context.