Marianne Klancke – Agree to Disagree
Grand County, CO Colorado
My thanks and support to all of the energetic, brave souls who offer to sit on a board or hold an office in our community. BIG HUG to you all.
That being fondly expressed, I will also say, “What, are you crazy?” We all know what it means to expose our ideas to the public light. You can be relentlessly questioned, contradicted and criticized. Of course, not everyone will disagree with you, naturally attracting you to align yourself with those who embrace your same perspectives, experiences, or needs.
Herein lies the luring temptation for all leaders and, in reality, everyone everywhere to stunt their growth. Let’s face it; life is simpler when there are no contradictions, nothing to deny us of our habitual views and automatic “rightness.” With no one to disagree, we can reflect on our every thought and action in a blissful sense of stagnate certainty.
As a life coach, I challenge you to step away from addicting interactions of certainty. I will support all of you, particularly those who are entrusted in positions of public representation, to come away from an indulgent diet of validating input. More of us must agree to entertain the valuable lessons of disagreement. On every level, we must agree to disagree.
How confusing. Is not disagreement what we usually avoid at all cost? Why would we choose to invite disagreeable uncertainty when certainty can be oh-so-comfortable? I believe that fertile uncertainty creates the only view point from which change, personal or political, can be successfully explored and masterfully accomplished.
I encourage you to respond FOR change. Sharpen your disagreeable skills by reinventing your comfort zone, mastering the art of differences and prioritizing lifelong growth. Your intention is to move past your current convictions, as certain as you may feel about by these positions, to a mind set of constant curiosity and discovery.
Our individual comfort zones relate instinctive, protective sensations that remind us of what we have learned about our perceived dangers, both physical and social. We can choose to manage this beneficial mechanism by consciously renewing our definition of danger. Our comfort zones need not be threatened by the fact that other people have different ideas than ours. It is not true that the core values we hold will be involuntarily dismantled or dishonored by entertaining differences.
Mastering differences can be an art. Difference is the medium of creative problem-solving and decision-making. Purposely seek variations of thought in contradicting literature and media. Eagerly examine provocative possibilities. Employ authentic dialogue with people you know to be dissimilar from you or your group in their positions. Have coffee with someone who eagerly offers controversy.
Become disagreeable ready. Present yourself as inquisitive, non-judgmental, and generous with your own distinctive thoughts. Encourage your communication partners to feel safe and adventuresome with their own disagreeable expressions. Allow mutual uncertainty to be a common implement of productivity rather than a sign of weakness and vulnerability.
After we utilize uncertainty as a comfortable, exploratory tool and pack a wide variety of valuable differences into our bag of tricks, we will naturally grow towards creative courses of action. No longer will we carve conclusions from our same old place of certainty. Instead, we will skillfully weave into our decisions all of the variations learned on our journey among fellow disagreeable enthusiasts.
Again, I applaud all leaders and lay people, alike, who are willing to redefine their comfort zones, master the art of differences and declare that their purpose in participation, especially in life itself, is to grow with every uncertain thought and disagree-able belief. They wholeheartedly agree to disagree.
Marianne Klancke is a certified professional coach and group development facilitator. What are your coaching questions or communication concerns? She welcomes any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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