character, effectiveness, Leadership

Honesty in conversations

Summer is a great time to venture into other authors and gain insights from other fields. One recent one Parker Palmer, has pointed out how divided our lives can be, especially in its early stages when we are finding our way in new jobs with new colleagues where we don’t know what the common values of the organization are.

We know what happens when people become totally detached from the reality of who they are – individuals on a crowded planet – and simply succumb to greed. Division between who we really are and what we do affects us personally, but it also affects all those with whom we come into contact.  Companies and organizations often try to fix this with policies or codes of ethics, but as Palmer notes, the problems really go beyond these. We are really working on become whole? Can we say what we need to say and remain true to ourselves?

Of course the truth hurts.  And the truth as we see it can be used to hurt others and diminish them. Sometimes the only thing that works is to ask a question.  There may be no immediate answer. But it may start a journey for ourselves that others eventually may follow and lead to change in others. One had better not underestimate the risk, though, for it may be considerable.  At that point one has to come back to how important it is to be whole rather than divided.