The Echo Chamber
I was watching a series of Ted Talks the other evening as I find them to be so inspiring. It really is a treat to have a vast amount of proficient individuals divulging their life’s work, experiences, and expertise in 12-18 minutes chunks.
This evening I found myself searching on topics of leadership and came upon “Dare to Disagree” by Margaret Heffernan. It focused around examples and emphasized the notion that disagreements are essential to progress and for change to be enacted in its most healthy courses.
What struck me was the idea of how one avoids conflicts and almost subconsciously will become an “Echo Chamber” for those who are posing ideas, plans, and influence. I took this idea to heart and in efforts to personalize the idea I found that this is one of the most challenging yet important elements to maintain in leadership.Having the character and confidence to pose opinions seems to be in short supply until one is able to achieve identity and autonomy in self.
It is no wonder that having opposition that seeks resolution without rupture in relationships is so rare to find. (What, we disagree? So unfriending you in cyber-reality right now…)
Most of the time the search and confusion of identity is wrapped around a skewed and egocentric view of self. So, in attempts to compliment this or at times compensate, there is a lack of healthy daring to disagree. Now, there is plenty of unhealthy disagreement, and this is usually seen in ego vs. ego with the option of only one winner. Yet, if I am to lead, to show compassion for others, and to demonstrate the love for my God in my life, I must be secure enough in my identity to receive disagreement, encounter the healthy forms of it, and not take the unhealthy to heart.
This is such a challenge when there are expectations that are issued out that are comply subjectively to the type of person and leader one is to be.
There seems to be no room for leaders to remain human and demonstrate health for how they are able to walk through and grow as people when their limitations protrude through the other persons unrealistic expectation of them.
Yet, when this facade is allowed to crack and our humanness is given room to be seen, there is the leaders biggest opportunity to teach. This is where, as a person who seeks to model after their primary example (Jesus) that He is magnified and the leader is willing to diminish. In this act, disagreements and conflicts are giving the opportunity for personal and organizational progress to take root.
This leader is willing to be available to the opportunities that can arrive in understanding before being understood, dare to disagree.