You’ve got 3 bowls:
- One with hot water in which you have your left hand in
- One with cold water which you have your right hand in
- one in the middle with luke warm water
So what happens when you put both hands in the middle one?
You guessed it, your right hand will feel hot and your left will feel cold and yet they’ll be in the same environment…
And this is why we need to balance what we think and what we feel.
We’ve all know ‘feelers’ who seem to bounce from one drama to another on the roller coaster of life. And we all know thinkers – people who are so unruffled they go through the motions of life without seemingly a glimmer of emotion and often just ‘process’ the people they come into contact with. The two types can often be dismissive of one another too – calling one another flakes or robots respectively.
The truth is both ways of living are limited. The reality of the bowls example above is that whatever you might feel the environment is constant and it’s your previous experience and how that colours your senses which will determine what you understand. To fully appreciate what’s going on you need to know what you are experiencing but fully appreciate where you’ve been to get the full truth. If all you did was go on your feelings you’d come up with a nonsensical view of the water. If all you did was say what you knew to be true it would deny the impact on your body and your sense of what the new enviroment is like in comparison to your past.
….and so I’ve been mulling on this in a company context. Whatever we do, say, create or act out will be interpreted differently by every single person. Our way to be truly effective in creating our culture or environment is to understand how people are experiencing it and communicate accordingly. Otherwise we’ll kid ourselves that it what it is and everyone needs to get in line. By the same token we can’t go too much on what individuals might say about it – we need to stay focused on what we’re intent on creating. In addition we need to coach everyone to take a step back and work on taking a rounded view of what they’re involved in. This way we all better ourselves, understanding more and communicating more effectively.
The same will be true of family life, church and any other form of community where you’re shaping something