Getting back to writing…by Anne Yurasek on November 17, 2010
Apologies to our readers for the long the delay in adding to our blog posts. These have been difficult months with major surgery, a long recovery and then resuming our consulting practice post that event. Enough excuses though. On the upside, the long hiatus has given me the opportunity to do a lot of reading. So the head is full and the pages are empty, at least so far.
Very recently, I have stuck my toe in the water of a social networking site called Triiibes founded by Seth Godin, an incredible marketing genius. The site is like a city and brings minds from all over the globe into proximity with the goal of promoting innovation and disseminating ideas. It is heady stuff.
Last night's discussion was about change and how change happens. It began with some introductory remarks about the level of incivility in the media and public discourse and the intense animosity that seems to be everywhere. Are we changing minds by all of this frantic and highly emotional discourse? Or is this just an excuse to vent frustration and batter one another? It is easy to beat up on the people we disagree with…it is much harder to try to encompass in our own brains the point of view of "the other."
What I liked about this conversation was where it ended last evening (it yet may continue for days). There seemed to be agreement among the participants that effectively changing the world for the good is not noisy and combative. It is not about hype and media attention. It is about attracting one person, educating one person, working with one child or one adult, and teaching the skills of effective listening, collaboration, and conflict resolution. There is a wonderful and perfectly ordinary school system in a small town in New England. Ten years ago they had a bullying problem at the high school. Now teachers see a marked improvement in how children treat one another. Why? They instituted a robust curriculum that teaches these skills starting in kindergarten. This is known knowledge…this is not a mystery. We just don't do enough of it.