I'm fascinated by the fact that we can never really know what others are thinking.
I remember teaching a few years ago, when I really got it wrong. During the entire session, the group was quiet and I started making meaning about it in my head. They didn't like it. They were bored. They didn't care.My brain went on and on... Then, the most miraculous thing happened. Instead of leaving, like they always do at the end of every session, there was a crowd forming. Nine of the twenty participants were standing there, waiting their turn to talk to me.“I had the biggest ah-ha tonight. I never realized….”“Everything you said went right to my heart…”“This purpose-stuff was hard for me. I can talk all day about processes, but I’ve never thought about that before….”One after another, they shared their discoveries, entrusting me with their stories. They were engaged, intensely so, just not in the way I expected.Related: Great Innovators Master Sitting in the Unknown
While we can sincerely seek to understand what someone else is thinking, we can’t always know. Maybe our job isn’t to know, but to remain committed to sincerely understand in the midst of never knowing for sure, like a leap in the dark.For to commit ourselves fully without guarantees is where the magic lies. It’s the only way we learn to fly.