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I haven’t blogged for quite a while, I’ve been busy creating so many other ways of reaching folks. I hope some of them are working.

The empty blog page has been enticing me to snuggle up to it again. It’s a bit more personal. Less “all work, no play” than other communications. I can even write about everyday stuff that I think of or observe. And let’s face it, today, there’s a LOT to observe!

Has anyone noticed our politics are getting kind of crazy? So, you’re a business owner and want to stay ‘neutral.’ Easier said than done, Am I right? Some of the crazy out there (I’m finding both extreme sides are becoming equally bat-shit crazy) just can’t be ignored another second!

Now, there’s also a lot to be said in support of announcing your beliefs loud and clear. Can you guess why?

So how does this division impact me and my business? I was wondering about this. It’s not an easy question to answer and various discussions can take us in many different directions. I’m still working at getting my own thoughts around this pinned down. I’m on the moderate, social democratic side of things, so this blog won’t help if you’re flying on the far right or the far left of critical thinking.

Heck, if that’s your position you probably won’t be reading this anyway. But just in case, this bit’s for you …

Keep your opinions, biases, prejudices, and conspiracy theories to yourself. You’re embarrassing yourself and your moderate friends who are trying to remain your friend. If you start marching around with torches ablaze and a white hood on, it’s not so easy to defend you to others.

We don’t want to hear it or see it from you because it hurts us. Yes, it hurts us to learn that someone who we thought was a “good person” thinks and feels these ways. I’m staying deliberately vague with the “these ways” because there are too many ways to list here. And there always seems to be new ways popping up.

Let me tell you what I learned just yesterday on Facebook. A friend starts the post with “I’m confused”. In reference to a current FB shit storm in Canada. I then noticed that all valid information regarding this confusing topic was ignored, and all the comments and information brandishing the pitchforks and torches were embraced. I could also have a biased a view on this – we ALL have a world view. My point here is to let you know that you haven’t failed if you haven’t changed anyone’s mind or POV with reason and evidence. It seems we select information that will support what we already believe. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. It’s what we believe! So getting contradictory information tossed at you actually end up feeling like an attack on your basic beliefs. It’s now personal.

Understanding this quirk of human nature, and owning my own worldview is vital to reasoned thinking about an emotionally charged topic. This is what will give me even a glimmer of hope in assimilating new information on any controversial topic.

It’s so easy to get swept away with the rhetoric on the current “hot” topics of today’s social media. It’s not just coming from crazy Aunt Jane, it’s also being pushed out by people with considerable influence.  You read a post that you know shares misinformation, you can’t stay quiet and you share what you know. Before you know it you’ve been maneuvered into an extreme position that even you don’t believe. You will find yourself defending more and more extreme points simply in response to the crazy conversation you’re having at the time. And when you’re done you’ll wonder how you got there. The crazy seems to be infectious. So, if you’re tempted to jump in and explain anything, don’t.

Here’s interesting new thing learned #2. When things happen to a huge group of people (refugees, aboriginal, women, immigrants, disabled, endangered species, add your group here) there seems to be less connection than if it happens to just one person. For example, why does the devastation of life in areas like Syria barely get an eye-bat, or war (think Vietnam, Korean, 1st & 2nd WW) say it’s okay for so many soldiers and civilians to be killed, but 10 years in Guantanamo Bay prison are not enough to pay a debt. Let’s face it, we put people who have committed horrific crimes through a due process, honour their right to a “fair” trial, and then grant them their freedom after a portion of the sentence is served. Please don’t read this to mean that I don’t care someone was injured, blinded, or killed. I do. That’s a horrible, horrible thing to happen. Or that I think killing in war is fine, it isn’t. I simply feel that the true argument about this current issue has been lost in the cries for retribution. Well, more retribution. We never seem to have enough retribution …

So, let’s get back to business … as a coach, I end up developing very deep relationships with my clients. I will take some time for us to meet before accepting them as a client. To make sure we’re a good fit. After all, they need to feel comfortable with me as well! Although technically, we don’t need to be compatible with our world views, I personally find I’m more comfortable working with others that share my values. How on earth am I going to help someone reach their goals, create new levels of success in their life if we’re misaligned in that department? Possibly your business is different and doesn’t get you up close and personal with your customer. If it is, that’s great.

But now I’m going to contradict the bit about keeping your opinions to yourself – be yourself, but consider being moderate and kind in your communications. After all, you’re much less likely to offend anyone by using your manners than by raging off in all directions. But if that’s just not you, go for it, and know that you’ll attract customers who share your point of view. And others that don’t feel that way will know that you’re probably not a good match. Oh, and make sure you give your business a personal face. Don’t be one of the masses, be the “one” so your customers care.

Well, if you’re still reading, thank you for allowing me to ramble a bit. I think this topic (the polarization of our society) is such an important one, and if you have children, you should too. In my mind, it’s going to shape the way we socialize, work, and will certainly impact our quality of life as we progress to wherever it is we’re going.

Photo by Jan Kubita on Unsplash

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