Monday, November 5, 2012

Listen without Judging

Have you ever proposed an idea or solution to a problem only to have your idea dismissed immediately by someone?

Instant critical response can dowse ideas faster than water on a candle flame. No matter how brilliant your idea may be, it will struggle to survive the search for perfection.

Solving problems together requires the compassion to hear someone else's truth without judging them.

It doesn't mean that you agree.

It doesn't mean that you will be adopting an idea immediately. It simply means keep the judge at bay long enough, and with enough care for the other person, to understand it's perspective.

It's what I call sending your inner judge out for milk and cookies -- the judge will be happy and you'll get to finally hear some ideas completely.

It's more than worth a try -- it's how to build more compassion in your team while generating more ideas.

-- Douglas Brent Smith



Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Courage to Tell The Truth

Can a problem be so tough that we deceive ourselves about solving it?

In any problem there is a temptation to soften the edges, smooth the rough spots, to paint a better picture than we see.

Sometimes we take sides and spin the truth in favor of our side, even when that contributes to a conflict or problem. We can do better than that.

Solving problems together requires the courage to tell the truth as you see it.

Not our version of the truth. Not our ideal of the truth. The truth as it exists, weak spots and all.

If we want to clearly analyze a problem, we must be willing to see, and tell the truth.

-- Douglas Brent Smith