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February 21, 2011 / Astor ICS

Obstacle Illusions: The Clearing Skies of International Communication

The power of the present and the forces of the future have been converging ever since there was time. But now, in our world, we are seeing all humanity brought constantly up to date news, information and events that inspire some and get others very angry and defensive. That sort of reaction has been happening for years, but now it’s all out in the open.

As we grow closer, we are witnessing some very common threads in all humanity that many were sure existed, and now it’s been confirmed.

The idea being here that we were separated by impenetrable boundaries and ideologies that related like oil and water. But things are changing and they’re changing fast. How do we keep pace with these dynamics and what do we do?

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Accept everyone’s humanity and realize they are just as sensitive as you. Sound’s easy, but many have this almost sentimental sense that if we don’t see their faces and don’t know about them, they don’t matter. But now, we are seeing their faces, we are aware of their hopes and fears. It’s time that we stand shoulder to shoulder with populations. Leaders come and go, but the trend is that people want representation, everywhere. In the boardroom, in more flattened organizations, in the young generations need to really enjoy what they do and most of all, in countries that we thought could never change, the public has been saying, ‘We demand a voice in our destinies’.

2.Seek agreement. Be polite, non-judgmental (even a little) and ask. You don’t have to agree with everyone and you never will. OK. They won’t agree with you all the time. OK. This has a balancing effect that we can calm down and if we don’t agree or understand, we can ask the person about it. Find some common ground to work from. Don’t give up on this. When you sense resistance, there is resistance. But push through it with dialogue.

3.Be prepared to accept apologies and/or apologize. It’s common and easy to make mistakes and the trouble comes when we try to defend those mistakes (because of our own stubbornness and I can be guilty of this myself) we build the walls of separation even higher, and they’ll want to come down.

4.Encourage the moments, events and movements that bring people together. In the workplace there are events that have a unifying effect; congratulating a job well done, giving credit to others, helping the future of the organization, helping those below and above. If we don’t get in there and show our force of effectiveness and productivity, we run the risk of dividing what is actually one group, one team, one force.

We have so many illusions that divide us; nationality, gender, race, religion, football teams, etc. that we easily forget what’s happening in the world. People want the same things. Now the material things are in competition, but our sense of humanity, understanding, acceptance and happiness flow in the same currents.

We had better get on that boat if we want to succeed in business and life, because if we don’t, that boat may pass us by. It’s not easy sometimes, because of our own moods, but when you are in a calm state, try to examine how you feel about others and you’ll probably see that you and I have a right to be a part of the same connection.

 

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