I am struggling with a conversation in a business situation. I am realizing that there is a built in bias that I bring to the dialogue. I find it an odd realization. I pride myself on being unbiased, open, and willing to meet others where they are. I know I enjoy working with others that have that have a similar approach even when we disagree with each other. The challenge with our conversation was and is the starting point.
We were willing to give others what we wanted in ourselves?
We value open, honest, conversations. They are not always easy. They do hold the potential for something better in the future. While this is critical, it is not enough.
The challenge in the business conversation lies in our mutual willingness to accept where we are. This is not a call for condoning the present. This is not a rationalization for accepting the status quo. It is a realization on my part that unless we accept the present as it is, there is little hope in building something together for the future. When I do not accept others – people, institutions, and communities – where they are, I come to the situation with preformed conclusions, judgment, and bias.
I realized that Life has been reminding me. The words and experiences are available if I am willing to listen. From Paul’s words – “Were you non-Jewish at the time of your call? Don’t become a Jew. Being Jewish isn’t the point. The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following his commands.” (1 Corinthians 7.19) – to the reality of how people defensively respond to my conclusions before our conversation has started, Truth is calling me to more.
Starting points are about beginnings. If I am running a race, I want to come to the starting point without burdens or baggage. Bias is both. In accepting others as they are I am inviting them to join me in reaching for more.
I am waking to the beginning of a new chapter. It is an opportunity we have in every moment.