As I continue to reflect on the power of the time spent with 12 teenagers in California through the work, www.newleaders.biz, one significant exercise stands out. The value of being able to respect a wide variety of perspectives is key to being a leader. The students from ages 13 to 18 were asked to choose a hot, current issue in our world. Through a democratic process that one of the students led, they chose addictions. Each of the students had a perspective (a belief, a stand, an attitude) about this topic. They stood on the scribed sheet of paper that held their own perspective and defended it. They noticed their passion and their attachment to their own perspective. In other words, they realized that they were coming from, "I am right".
They were then asked to step on someone else's perspective - the one that was most difficult for them to embrace. The energy in the room got hotter. It was a tough place to be because they had to explore defending another perspective which was very different than their own. A shift was required in order to do this. They had to come out of their box which isn't an easy thing to do. And they did it!
They had a lot of 'aha' moments as they were able to assimilate that each perspective was part of the whole and had particles of truth in them. They found that when they listened and looked for the truth in a very different perspective than their own - they felt expanded and open and learned something new about themselves and one another. New seeds were planted.
What would be different if we all were able to do this - in our relationships at work and at home, in our relationships with other nationalities and religions, in our relationships with other countries and cultures?
I claim my life as my own knowing that myself and others do not have to think alike. There is truth and learning in every person's perspective. I have the strength to be vulnerable and expand my thinking to embrace ALL. I listen.
© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:
Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Own” to support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.