Big decisions happen on a given day. With the U.S. election on Tuesday, big decisions were made. Like most big decision days, what matters most is what happens in the next days, weeks, and months. Tomorrow sets a new stage.
Our politics reflects our business and communities. When we think about this statement, our concerns rise. The politics we are experiencing is one of divisiveness, stalemate, and finger-pointing. In our communities and businesses, we see some of the similar destructive behaviors. We need to own our reflection and begin to change.
The coming day after is our day to start anew.
The coming day is our day to find our common ground again.
The coming day is our day to solve problems and focus on our higher purpose.
In our coming days, it is time to go deep. We need to go deep in several areas:
- Problem solving
Today, we have headline conversations. The 24-hour news cycles incite us to short stories, and these stories lack depth and usually carry a lot of opinion. As easiest as it is to blame the cable news channels and the various blogs and news sites, we carry a responsibility as viewers and readers. We need to unplug from short, opinionated “news” stories and dig beyond the headlines.
To have deeper conversations, we need to ask questions. We need to find people with diverse viewpoints and listen. We need to have conversations that flesh out the problems, the beliefs, and the solutions. Our conversations should represent the best of ourselves. To bring out the best in our conversations requires us to tap into our best empathetic skills. We need to listen to understand, and we need to speak to be heard.
Deeper conversations will facilitate our coming day in a more productive way.
Just as our conversations are headline-oriented so is our thinking. We are self-centered in our thinking. We build walls around our opinions and prevent ourselves from thinking outside those comfortable walls. We need to be uncomfortable in our thinking. We do this by thinking about the other side of an issue, and how different solutions may move us forward in ways we never thought of before.
To have deeper conversations, we need to understand the facts, the beliefs, and the deeper reasoning supporting each belief. The objective is to have open-minded, spirited conversations. By having these challenging conversations, we will broaden our awareness and gain a deeper understanding of differing viewpoints. Deep thinking will guide deeper conversations.
Deeper thinking will enable deeper understanding in our coming day.
Deeper Problem Solving
With deeper conversations and thinking, the next logical step is deeper problem solving. Deeper problem solving means we find ways to solve a challenge. Continuous arguing and fierce stalemates never solve problems. We need to develop a problem-solving mindset. To develop our problem-solving mindset, it begins by using our problem-solving muscles again. We need to work diligently at it.
Deeper problem solving finds common ground. Within the common ground, we begin to formulate plans that take the best from different perspectives and then mold solutions that make sense. A sensibility rises when we solve problems.
Problem-solving is not static. After a solution is crafted, we measure, learn, and adjust. A deeper problem-solving mindset knows this ongoing cycle.
Deeper problem solving moves us forward in our coming day.
We are too segmented. Said better, we are too self-centered in the defined boundaries of people similar to us. Physical walls don’t need to be built as we have already built walls around ourselves. A Wall Street Journal article accurately calls this our Tribal Politics. We have over-segmented, and we have segmented on top of our segments. Within each segment, we defend, and we become defensive.
Some segments happen because of us. Other segments happen to us. Given our belief, age, or origin, we are placed into a segment. Too often, we get the segments wrong, especially when segments become stereotypes. Too often, we put ourselves in a segment where nothing else matters; what only matters is what our segment is supposed to do.
Too many hardened segments carve purpose into unrecognizable pieces. Purpose is diced and set aside. We lose sight of what we have diced up, and we only focus on our little piece. What we need to remember again is the deeper purpose underlying who we are as an individual, business, community, and society. Our diced purpose is better together in a tasteful stew of diverse strength and flavor.
A higher purpose exists. A deeper purpose gives us a deeper sense of responsibility. Our responsibility is to activate our deeper purpose and find ways to bring it back into our conversations, thinking, problem-solving, and solutions. Raising our sights will lift our sense of purpose.
Deeper purpose will center us in our coming day.
Arguing on principles is healthy. Debating facts is enlightening. Going deeper into an issue unveils possible solutions. When done with a civil tone, good happens. We may not always agree with the outcome, but we understand the differing perspectives and why we came to a solution. We give the solution our support because we know we are stronger when we solve challenges than when we leave things undone.
Civility seems to be a lost art. Instead of being civil, we see who can be the most rude, obnoxious, and outrageous. Incivility brings out the worst. The art and practice of civility must rise again. We must find our sense of responsibility, manners, and empathy again.
Deeper civility will bring bigger joy to us in our coming day.
Our Responsibility: Time to Go Deeper
No matter what you think about the election cycle and our candidates, we are responsible. We vote. After the vote, we have an added responsibility and choices.
- Do we encourage continued divisiveness?
- Do we respect the election and encourage people to come together?
- Do we focus more on the importance of our defined segment than our deeper purpose?
- Do we hold others down and raise more barriers?
- Do we appreciate our differences and then find our common ground?
Our elected officials need to live up to a higher standard and demonstrate how we need to solve the big issues in a deeper way. No different than what our business and community leaders need to do. In many ways, our business leaders are setting a higher standard. We need to encourage more of these examples, and we need to remind our elected representatives to set a higher standard in the coming days.
We need to go deeper. No matter our segment, our status, or our role, we have a responsibility to go deeper in how we work with each other, how we resolve challenges, and how we renew our greater purpose. More important than winning is creating well.
Are you ready to go deeper in the coming days? How will you raise the standard of our leadership?
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