Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Powerful Alliances

I love the story of George and Alice in the TED Talk below. She was determined to solve a tough problem and he was determined to help her. These two very different individuals formed a powerful alliance, with world-changing results. As Heffernan says, "the truth won't set us free until we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it."

Heffernan: "I wonder how many of us have -- or dare to have -- such collaborators." I wonder this, too.

I wonder when in Heffernan's other story Joe began to recognize his allies, and how.

I wonder how we distinguish between allies and enemies.

I wonder if you have had someone help you like George helped Alice.

I wonder what the word conflict looks like, sounds like, feels like for you.

I wonder how you reacted to Heffernan's description of such collaboration as a kind of love.

I wonder what problems you have to solve.

I wonder who you might invite to help you by disagreeing with you.

I wonder how we can best enjoy the benefits of those who think similarly while also guarding against forming echo chambers.

I wonder how often I prioritize my own comfort above what truly matters by avoiding what has the potential to be productive conflict.

And I am grateful for the "Alices" and "Georges" and "Joes" in my life -- individuals who intentionally engage, who bring their whole selves to our interactions, who are attentive enough to recognize our differences, loving enough to speak authentically, intentional enough to communicate effectively, and trusting our relationship enough to disagree.

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