Many things can be said about what supports or blocks authentic expression, but today my thinking led me to the issue of how “the need to be right” may interfere. This topic builds-up on many others, such as the existence of little room for failure or mistakes. But that’s not where I want to go in this post.
‘Who is right and who is wrong’
Today I was reflecting on conversations about credibility of social media content. All the studies, statements, the “most recent discover”, and other news people share in social networks. ‘Who is right, who is wrong’. This topic is a really hot one that often appears in group conversations. And also often I find myself questioning ‘is the meaning of all that sea of information reduce to credibility?’ Of course not. But its also true my bias towards the direction I’m going to take here.
Other exploratory paths could be taken and are welcomed!
‘Who is right?’ and other questions about credibility take a second place when I look at this phenomena as people sharing what is important for them. They share cause some kind of echo occurred within them. And these individual echoes may fade or expand, and form larger shapes. Shapes that we can use to transform ideas and concepts into real action.
More then right or wrong I really like to observe and listening to this big sea of “important things”. It allows me to spot intersections, follow “collective hopes and worries”, and group agenda. That’s how business data look at them, and in my view should also be the way we should look at any individual expression, in any given context.
Self-authentic expression feeds collective knowledge.
The invitation now is to take this power to a more specify context: individual expressions in organisations.
We have many interesting paths to explore in the way we work in groups and organisations. But what I propose as one possible initial step is that we could start looking at things not only in terms of appropriateness or credibility, and start listening to the echoes, despite being or not our songline.
Why we should listen instead of labelling?
How we individually choose to attend to things we do not consider relevant makes a big difference in being able to tap into the collective knowledge I’m referring to.
When someone brings us a “non-relevant or non-credible issue” it may help us to have this big picture in mind. Particularly in those situations people had the courage to bring what they consider an important subject and are aware of our position. Maybe by simple inviting the question ‘why is that important for the other’ we can stay open and, who knows, be able to link it with other “non relevant” ones. Hopefully one day we find we have a new “right and relevant issue” in hands.
Sticking to our concepts of right or wrong is labelling, and only puts into use what we already know. Being open to explore and search other meanings is listening, and offers room for the emergence of new knowledge.
Thank you for listening!