Discussing Leadership In Politics Isn’t Necessarily Being Political

How much will you listen to, read, or learn from something you may not believe you agree with?

Let me explain.

Recently, someone had gone to the Coach It Out Blog and read through some of the blog posts. Admittedly, they found that a good number of the more recent CiO Brief blog posts, which cover contemporary stories in the news, were written in response to the leadership style and steps taken by President Donald Trump.

The reader, offering well-intended advice, suggested that the website should pare back on the Trump posts so that Coach It Out doesn’t alienate any possible clients who may see the company as overly – and overtly — political.

“We need to realize people can criticize, question, or opine on a structure but not necessarily take issue with the foundation of that person or subject in the same conversation.”

I understand where that concern is coming from and I, as well as anyone else, do have my own political views. But if you read the posts, there’s nothing political about them. They merely outline actions or inactions that represent Trump’s and/or his administration’s leadership style, execution, and results based on the situation covered in each post. If you removed the names and spoke solely about the general actions, it would read like a general leadership or managerial effectiveness lesson.

Furthermore, for the posts, inspiration and examples are drawn from all types of figures in the public spotlight, including Trump’s own opponents and detractors, from across the spectrum of the political parties and contingents.

In the blog posts, overall, any situation or person can be broken down to the most basic, relatable working (or non-working) parts. If you proposed any story and/or subject for analysis, there’s a good chance leadership lessons could be culled from it by breaking it down. In dissecting such examples, we can find what we can apply to our own experiences and what we can take away by comparing and contrasting our experiences to those examples being analyzed.

We need to realize people can criticize, question, or opine on a structure but not necessarily take issue with the foundation of that person or subject in the same conversation. The structure is made up of the execution, actions, and processes, while the foundation is a metaphor for the politics, ideology, and beliefs upon which those actions are based and built.

I may agree with someone’s foundation, but not how they’re building off of it. Or, I may disagree with someone’s foundation, but give credit to how they’re organizing their strategy. The message and the message delivery can be analyzed separately.

There are times to get political (an ideological belief) and times to get technical (an objective review).

Our society has lost its ability to delineate these two arenas where if you don’t agree with the former, the latter can’t be had. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I myself find it possible to separate the two when necessary.

“We benefit so much by hearing, discussing, and even debating opposing sides. It’s unfortunate when we don’t learn from each other, no matter where we’re coming from, within reason.”

There are lessons everywhere; I say it all the time and I find them all the time.

Also, if someone is going to target intentions without fully reading and understanding what someone is truly trying to convey and, instead, projects a forgone conclusion, that’s unfortunate. In this situation, we would both have benefited from deeper conversation or further collaboration, either in a coach-client relationship or as colleagues, ESPECIALLY with differing viewpoints.

We benefit so much by hearing, discussing, and even debating opposing sides. It’s unfortunate when we don’t learn from each other, no matter where we’re coming from, within reason.

Someone who is so locked into a political position, to the point they can’t see past it, oftentimes, as we’ve seen – just think about your own family holiday gatherings where politics might split the family – doesn’t allow for the most workable relationship or exchange to unfold. There has to be some flexibility and ability to open our minds to new ideas, opinions, perceptions, and translations while, dare I say it, suspending emotional responses.

Without that ability, we go nowhere and we just perpetuate the vicious cycle and belief of “opposition is productive” which we may find in politics today – from ALL sides of politics.

Ok, there you go. That last part was a bit political.

jmj

So…What About You?

  • Are you open enough to consider new ideas, even if they question a representation of your ideology?
  • How much have you read into someone’s argument, even if on the surface it does not appear you may agree with them?
  • Are you able to point out, as objectively as possible, the areas that need development along the strong areas in those you support?

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