Maybe you've been in this meeting or one like it. Competing agendas fly like bullets. The pace of conversation speeds up. Interruptions pounce out the façade of civility. People anxiously wait to talk, heads burning with desire, rather than listen.
Desperate to prove theories with sheer force rather than diplomacy, individuals impatiently listen to others and feign interest. Then, the most damning of all corporate double-speak phrases from the book of clichés thunders out of a mouth too long closed given its level of passion: "I don't disagree," and then it is always followed by a "but..."
Everyone in the conversation is eager to be proven right, to be the smartest.
Paradoxically, this yearning for intelligence harms both the relationships at work and also keeps a vice-grip around new thinking about the business.
This Too Smart Tendency is a tale-tell sign that the organization is too smart for its own good, acting out of the shadow of its mental gifts, insecure at core, and tripping over itself.
Instead of trying to be smart, why not mature and aim for wisdom. As the great Persian poet reminds us: "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment."
For those who work together, having a sense of bewilderment can restore a sense of potential and the requisite creativity needed to solve problems, transform the business model for greater growth, and inspire their colleges to aim for higher performance. This is the mindset of real collaboration.
To master this mindset, professionals might want to look at Best Practices that are proven over time. Some best practices date back father than written history, all the way back to the first nation practices.
The so called Four-Fold Way found in many first nations insist on four elements as the context for success through wisdom:
· Gratitude for Wisdom
· Reverence for Life
· Principle of Interdependence
· Need for Change Makers
Imagine if your meetings started with gratitude and reverence, saw the value of what everyone brings to the table, and valued rather than fought change. Perhaps they wouldn't feel as hostile as a Senate session and would be far more productive.
What a sense of renewal your organization could experience, instead of the tired old arguments. New paths will present themselves.
If you want to carry this model further into the health of a place and how it holds meetings, think about these four archetypes:
· Warriors, whose gifts is being totally present regardless of what is happening
· Healers, whose gifts help pay attention to the emotions that shape a culture
· Visionaries, whose gifts include truth telling without blame or judgment
· Teachers, whose gifts include being open to learning without attachment to outcome.
Who plays these roles in your organization? Is wisdom allowed there? Is there a spirit of gratitude and reverence?
We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Why settle for merely being smart when an organization can mature into wisdom? We can start by introducing these concepts into the workplace.