The experience of really listening to another human being is the source of our willingness to love them. Someone just gave me a t-shirt that says, “You can’t hate someone whose story you know.” That works at every level. The difficult issues in our society will not be resolved until we can listen to people’s experience of things like racism and sexism-just listening without trying to defend ourselves.
“Uncertainty is more appropriate to a world that is so perplexing to us. When people hear that they relax, and what comes next is the possibility of courage.”
In organizations, we’re blinded to the power of honest communication because we fear it will take us down the road of guilt and accusations, that it will fracture our relationships rather than heal them. We really don’t want any more meetings because all we’ve done for years is accuse and yell at each other, trying to push our own agenda through this very dense resistance. We can’t see the power of these very simple processes that would bring us to this great place of opening to one another. Yet when we finally realize the truth of who we are, and really hear people’s stories, it truly changes our capacity to be together.
The first thing that arises when we open up to each other is a great sigh of relief. We realize that we’re not the only one who feels bewildered. When we hear that nobody knows the answer any more, that none of the old ways work, that we don’t know what the new way is, then confusion has a higher value than certainty. Uncertainty is more appropriate to a world that is so perplexing to us. When people hear that, they relax…..
……..And what comes next is the possibility of courage.
– Margaret Wheatley