A new manager gave me a valuable key.
“If you are going to disagree with me, you need to be clear. Are my facts wrong? If they are, show me how they are wrong and bring the right ones to the table. Is my logic flawed? If it is, then explain why and offer something better. Applying the new logic to the facts will then lead to a more productive conversation. It is one or the other, rarely both.”
Facts, logic, and clear conversation can be a powerful combination. With used as simple building blocks, complex ideas can be presented and understood.
As we struggle to respond to the volume of change, facts, logic, and clear conversations are in short supply. Many in the organization are numb from the relentless avalanche of new information and processes. Individual burnout is more common than anyone is willing to admit. Details get lost in the chaos. Processes are abandoned before they have a chance to work. It is difficult for anyone to know and understand the bigger picture.
In the middle of it all, I am reminded that others have faced a similar challenge. When you look at how they responded, there is a universal model. When a group “presented the governor with their case against Paul,” (Acts 24.2) they had to use facts, logic, and clear conversation. Today, I am called to do the same.
Life’s facts are often confusing and easily manipulated. Holding them gently is important. Facts should be foundational. When used as a weapon, facts lose their power.
Complex ideas rest on simple building blocks. It is important to start with the simple. They are a gateway to the power found within communities.
Clear conversation rests on a foundation of listening. The strongest listening occurs when we have a heart and openness to learning.
You and I hold an opportunity to make a difference in our community. What unfolds next will depend on the strength of our case. I am looking to pull a good one together today. We can do much more than I.