Let’s support and stop criticizing.

We encourage, teach and support a concept that we respect each other’s model of the world. Model of the world is a phrase we use to describe how you interpret the world. Your world is a collection of your beliefs and values. Your model of your world will be different from my model. To build an effective relationship with someone, we need to respect their model of the world. To understand someone and to motivate them, we need to take the time to see their model of the world rather than imposing our own.

You know the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated? We tend to follow this in many areas of our life. With good intention. For example, you like a big breakfast. One day we meet for breakfast and you order me a big plate of eggs, bacon, toast. You may be thinking you are doing something great. Thank you by the way. The thing is, I don’t eat breakfast. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting and I don’t eat until at least 12:30. All I was going to order was peppermint tea. You made assumptions. An assumption that we all eat breakfast and a big breakfast would be appreciated. I know it was done with good intentions.

This may seem like a silly example and maybe it is. Let’s look at this differently. You work in a retail job with a lot of interaction with people. You and I are invited to a dinner party if we both say yes, there will be around 11-12 people at the party. It will be at a restaurant, patio seating. You say yes! You like the people, you miss them, no questions, you are in. I look at the guest list, the number of people, the regular routines of the different guests and finally decline. Is one of us right and the other wrong? No… My model of the world is just different than yours. What I am comfortable with is different than what you are comfortable with.

You wear a mask, John does not wear a mask. John will wear a mask if required, he even has a mask on him, he just doesn’t choose to wear one. Is one of you wrong? It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about understanding their model of the world.

You do not want to come to Brampton for a pedicure because we have more cases here. I do not want to go to a low price, high volume place for a pedicure regardless of where it is. One sees safety in terms of location, the other bases safety on the value of service. Different models of the world.

The three examples I just used are real examples I heard of, experienced or saw over the weekend. In each case, judgements of right or wrong were made. Judgements that only took into account that one person’s model of the world.

If we took the time to put our model aside and spent time learning about each other we may develop great understanding, more empathy and maybe even find solutions that work for both. Real communication may take longer and may take more effort but it will be a richer relationship.

I have previously posted a blog about how important it is that we listen vs hear. By listening we open ourselves to growth and development. By listening we open ourselves up to learning about someone else’s model of the world. We also become open to challenging what we thought to be true and it could mean that our model of the world will be changed forever. It is through listing that we stop judging and start to understand, have good conversations and find common ground.

We are in one of the most challenging pandemics I’ve seen in my lifetime. The impact of which has been farther reaching than anything I could imagine. A pandemic that will influence how we interact, how we shop, how we entertain, travel, etc. for a long time.

We are being bombarded with opinions, facts, even fake news from hundreds of people each and every day. How can any of us know what is right anymore? Instead of trying to be right, why don’t we try to understand? Why don’t we look for multiple views and listen? Listen with the intention to understand, ask question and to learn. Let’s hold judgement. Instead, let’s respect the other persons model of the world so that communication can start and continue while we each help each other. Let’s start from a place of acceptance.

To listen like this, means we have to start with respecting that person’s model of the world. When we can start from there, we start from a place of acceptance. Acceptance changes the conversation.

I challenge you to stop looking at the golden rule and look to the platinum rule. it’s harder… but it’s so much more powerful.

Are you going lead with acceptance?

“In a diverse world, the platinum rule replaces the golden rule: we should treat others as they’d liek to be treated, not as we’d like to be treated.”

Thais Compoint author of “succeed as an inclusive leader”