There is no question the world looks very different to the way it did 18 months ago, and regardless of your viewpoint on current affairs, one thing we can probably all agree on is that every single person has been affected in some way or another.
From a networking perspective and people talking to each other, a fairly unavoidable topic has been the pandemic. Hard to avoid as it has filled the news relentlessly for months on end, the pandemic subject is highly emotive as it brings “death” (or the fear of it) unnervingly close.
Whether you have been glued to the news for the whole story so far, or the complete opposite is of course a personal choice, but you can easily find the why’s and where for’s enthusiastically communicated for both ideas if you wish.
Families and life long friends have been torn apart over differences in their response to these health issues, which will probably extend way beyond the pandemic. We can live in hope that this is not the case, after all, this is a small difference in the big scheme of things, although in these uncertain times very worrying for sure.
It’s not just families and friends though, social groups and even networking organisations have seen major differences between their members. Take Link4Growth as a prime example, with folk at each extreme of the scale, as well as those undecided on what to do for the best juggling things in the middle.
Personal development coaches often cite that where we place our focus is what tends to expand, so concentrating on things that we can influence or change is therefore possibly sound advice, the Alcoholics Anonymous movement has something similar in their mantra.
Acceptance that our perspective is just that, our view of what is going on, is not easy at all. Recognising that just as we are able to have our own view, then others are equally entitled to have theirs, is particularly exasperating especially if at the other end of the spectrum to our own. This can be marvellously depicted by this example; if 6 people sat around an elephant and each was invited to draw the elephant in front of them, we would get 6 different pictures, same elephant though.
Some of the basic principles of Link4Growth and the behavioural guidelines are aimed at these difficult conversations we can find ourselves having. We have all been in them, or at the very least observed them unfolding before our eyes.
It is not easy. When we have passionate people who “know” they are right about something and get very animated when people disagree or put forward a different view of things. One of the most important behavioural guidelines of Link4Growth is
“The only right is that there is no right”
This is probably the most difficult guideline to follow… and all of us are able to improve on this aspect. As a goal or target it is a constant reminder, especially when we find ourselves involved in a heated debate.
Perhaps these challenging times ask of us to “up our game”, dig deep within ourselves to be more curious, ask more questions. Such as, how can they think in such a different way to me? Worth remembering this famous quote: “First seek to understand before seeking to be understood”.
The outcome if we are unable to settle our differences will be a very disjointed, divided future, I am sure this is not what any of us want.
In conclusion… whatever we think of other people and their opinions on this pandemic (or any other topic) it is worth bearing in mind, we are all Human Beings first and foremost. This is something we have in common with everyone else on the planet. That is the great undifferentiated aspect. If we can come together at this level for a starter, then we have a chance to co-create something amazing for the future.