Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
It's Okay to Have Different Views
I was standing at the sink, peeling some hard-boiled eggs for my breakfast. My daughter, who doesn’t eat eggs, walks into the kitchen as she is preparing to leave for work. Without looking up from peeling my eggs, I quickly ask if she would like me to peel her one knowing her response. Before she can respond, I chuckle out loud and say, “It never gets old!” She glares at me in disgust and says, “actually, it does.”
As I finished peeling the eggs with a smirk on my face as I took pleasure in my cleverness, my wife walked by and simply asked, “Why?” That is a great question. Am I wrong? To me, it never gets old. But to my daughter, it was old the very first time I said it, years ago. So, who is right? Me or my daughter? So, the answer is simple and obvious, both of us are correct because we are answering on how it makes us feel. We are not arguing in facts, but in feelings.
Friends and I were discussing our favorite place to eat on The Hill in St. Louis. What is great about that area, is that there are so many tremendous Italian restaurants that provide a variety of menus and surroundings that everyone can have a favorite. But interesting enough, it’s easy for people to share their opinions and discount the perspective of another. Hey, both of you can be right that your restaurant is the best. Because it’s how the restaurant makes you feel. Maybe it’s nostalgic because of a prior memory or celebration, maybe it’s the service or the food. But it is your perspective and it’s okay that someone has a differing opinion. Are you willing to lose a friend over it? Probably not.
Me and my best friend from high school enjoy collecting & sharing bourbon, which has become a popular activity in the U.S. I am a member of several bourbon sites on social media, and it always amazes me how people take such a hard line on their view of bourbons. If they don’t like it, they will make sure everyone is aware that they don’t like it and if you are crazy enough to enjoy that particular bourbon, then you are somehow unintelligent, unsophisticated, and quite possibly a fascist sociopath. Wow, it reminds me of politics!
What I also appreciate is the levelheaded people that will respond when they try a new bourbon and share their perspective. Amazing how you begin to listen to what they say, and you look for people who have similar perceptions as you. The reason I do this is that if I find someone who enjoys the same bourbons I do, then I can assume that we have a similar palate and if they recommend something I have not had, then I can trust that there is a good chance I would enjoy it as well.
So, we can both be right and wrong at the same time. Because with feelings and perspectives, it rarely is absolute. In my last post I spoke about how we view workloads from our own perspective and rarely take the opportunity to view from that of others. If you don’t expand outside of your own tastes, you will rarely grow. You can’t expand the palate of life, if you stay with your own inner circle, your own view, your own sense of right and wrong.
In a society that has become increasingly divided with political discourse, we quickly forget that we are not typically arguing facts, but feelings and perspectives. While some things are obvious from my perspective, I hear people argue to the opposite which I know is not true, but the facts they use support their perspective and so they stick to their position even harder. I’m not writing this to focus on who is right and who is wrong, but to serve as a reminder that feelings are our own. Perspectives are our own. The sooner we move away from debating feelings and instead try to understand feelings, the sooner we can embrace differing perspectives to help us come together Beyond Today.
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Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.
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