Turn on the news these days and you’ll be inundated with the push-pull of our society. From mask mandates, to gun control to climate change, Americans are at odds with each other over these issues on a daily basis.
What strikes me, is how little discussion there is about how to navigate these issues from the perspective of them as polarities, not ‘problems’ As I wrote about in the past, we often suffer paradox and don’t even know it. We push to one end of the spectrum, unaware that we aren’t really ‘solving’ the problem.
We haven’t acknowledged that our individual freedom matters as much as our dedication to the common good.
We push our fellow Americans into ‘libtards’ and ‘deplorables’ categories without being able to see what matters to them most ‘AND’ how much we are dealing with a polarity not a â€˜problem.â€™ We cannot forgo personal freedom inasmuch as we can forgo our dedication to the common good. Advocating for total freedom or complete control by the collective wonâ€™t get us anywhere.
We just push to one end of the spectrum only to be pulled back to the other.
This realization led me to want to deepen my understanding of polarities.
I found what I was looking for with Kelly Lewis and Brian Emerson of Andiron and their Key Polarity Indicator. I appreciated how they were able to leverage the work of Barry Johnson into something that directly benefited me as a Leadership Coach and Conflict Resolution Practitioner.
In September of 2020, I began my path towards certification by completing the Navigating Polarities â€“ Fundamentals program taught by Kelly and Brian. I loved what I learned so much that I joined the initial cohort of practitioners who would be certified by them to administer the Human KPI and Leadership KPI instruments.
What makes these instruments stand out is that they allow the leader to examine the benefits and overuses of the polarities that surround them. From Focus on Self :: Focus on Others, to Hope :: Reality, to Direct :: Empower, to Stability :: Change and numerous others that show up every day. This instrument allows leaders the insight necessary to step out of â€˜suffering paradoxâ€™ and into a â€˜Third Wayâ€™ of being and thinking that embraces a both/and outlook.
From this mindset, we are able to approach issues knowing that we cannot exclude the individual freedoms of our employees nor can we ignore our commitment to our common good.
Nobody said this would be easy and we would be so much more effective if we asked ourselves â€˜is this a polarity?â€
And if it is, â€˜how do I navigate it?â€™ Â Â
If we were to do this, our nation, our communities and our workplaces would be fundamentally different.
Reach out and let me know if you would like to learn more or make polarities the focus of a coaching engagement or workshop presentation.’