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Pig Heads Belong at BBQs

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I’m on a little R&R…hope you managed to get away before the start of 2012. While I’m snoozing, enjoy this one from the archives – originally published on May 26, 2010.

Blogging about politics, in my mind, is kind of like talking about it at the dinner table.  It spoils appetites (although, the number of actual political blogs out there would suggest otherwise). Writing about it on an HR blog is even worse.  But I’m going to do it today…kind of.  And I promise I’ll weave it into the workplace…

Last night I got into a little bit of a heated tweeted exchange with a follower who was ranting about Obama’s decision not to speak at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  In my opinion, he was blab blab blabbing because all of his right-wing sheep were doing the same…and he’s a sheep…and he’s comfortable following others that look and sound like him.  At any rate, I think people who stay too far on either end of the political spectrum are close-minded nincompoops. Generalization? Maybe.  In mankind’s long (short) history, though, one thing is clearly clear.  No one is right all of the time and everything has at least two sides to it! End of story.  So if that’s the case, why do we spend so much more time preaching from the same pulpit as our constituents than we do listening to, challenging, and considering the opposing position? If one enters a discussion with a bias set in concrete, then they shouldn’t even be allowed to the table.  Because if they are, it’s no longer a discussion. It’s a shouting match.  And that’s tiresome to say the least.  Seriously, if you read the tweet stream from last night it sounds like two 5th graders on the playground…”I know you are, but what am I? I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” And in the end, no influence was made on our respective opinions.

Next time you think someone in the office is full of shit, be sure to tell them that.  But then spend some time showing that you’re genuinely interested in understanding where their head is; not because you want to challenge them, but because you want to challenge yourself! You’re just as close-minded as they if you don’t leave the conversation with a more informed understanding. Understanding doesn’t mean acceptance or agreement…it just means you’re suddenly smarter. And if more of us did this in the workplace, productivity, better decisions, and fun fun fun would abound.

Photo Credit: Kansas City BBQ

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  • http://upstarthr.com Ben Eubanks

    I’ve been reading How to Win Friends and Influence People over the past few days. It’s been very illuminating and although some of the stuff seems elementary, we just don’t do it enough. Starting off with “you’re wrong and here’s why…” is always going to fail. Starting off with “I agree with you here, but let’s look at this point a little deeper…” is going to have a much higher chance of success.

    Great post, politics or not. :-)
    .-= Ben Eubanks´s last blog ..What is your “go to” resource? =-.

  • http://www.hardestyglobal.com Charlie

    @Ben – thanks for the reminder…i have it on my shelf and probably don’t pull it out enough. we all should!