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21st Century Miscommunication

“What got you here, won’t get you there.” - Marshall Goldsmith

I prefer to think of Mr. Goldsmith’s quote in terms of a collective truth: what got us here, won’t get us there. So to what am I referring?

Healthy communication is an indicator of relationship health, yet 2020 was characterized by so much miscommunication that it became the new evil.

So what are some of the adjustments that we can all make to drive ourselves toward a more equal world?

The Group Dynamic is Bigger Than Any One of Us

This means that no matter how badly we want to hang onto our own convictions, Respect for Others requires us to sometimes put aside our beliefs so we can be “storylisteners” versus story tellers.

Focus on Needs, Not Opinions

Conversations that focus on the needs of both parties have the natural effect of mitigating sub-conscious conflict.

Note: When stress increases, 75% of people who are prone to put other people’s needs first are women and 75% of people who are prone to put their own needs first are men. Therefore the recommendations for every person are unique. One may need to practice self-care while another may need to work on putting others first.

Status oriented leadership is so 20th century.

If you are still working to get the fancy car and show off how much money you have, then don’t forget that you have choices. The 21st century is calling for a new level of ambition.

All cultures have different things to which they accord status. Some want light skin and others want dark. Some need clothes to be perfect, while others are suspicious of that. Collective thriving requires judgment to be suspended for a higher truth of multiculturalism.

Post-2020 culture calls for status to be raised by the quality of our relationships, not by the quantity and branding of our possessions.

Do No Harm as a Guiding Leadership Quality

The ideal 21st century leader will reject the zero sum game as a valid business strategy.

Good nutrition will be a new indicator of a person’s ability to make wise decisions that consider the self, others, and the wider world. Without it, we are still victims of the human potential to perceive one another as “lions and tigers and bears.”

Practice, Practice, Practice

There is no silver bullet to culture change. Because it depends on the group and how companies organize their reward systems, it could take decades if not generations. Since people do that for which they are rewarded, change the rewards and you can change the direction of the universe.

Miscommunication doesn’t have to characterize our choices moving forward. Our potential is limitless.

Most of the business literature to date has focused on status oriented leadership, but it’s a miscommunication for those who want to lead boldly and effectively into the 21st Century.

There are myths that exist in the business world and 2020 was a wake up call that not all managed to hear. What it will take is for history to be written through the voices of all, not some - and that will take time.

Let not that truth tempt us to let our guards down. There are still mothers without their children and others who pray every time their sons leave the house.

I say that’s not ok. Not on our watch. What more can we all do to make a difference for ourselves and others?

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