Challenge the Status Quo
Written by Shane Farmer
We often take for granted the quiet complacency that most people have when it comes to listening. Most are happy enough to listen with both ears open so as to let things flow in and immediately out again. It’s a passive way of living and results in little consequence. Whether you agree or not it doesn’t so much matter because they’ll continue on and so will you with no effect. While this is an easy route, I challenge if it’s the best one.
We have lost the days of masterful orators, when it was common place to be a master of your language and in control of your delivery. I often wish that I had been alive to experience or witness many of the great speeches in history. To hear a speech delivered with mastery, style, substance, and impact is something not easy to accomplish anymore. With the TV, internet, and movies so much has been lost, the art of speech feels like a dying art. (The 35 Greatest Speeches in History – http://www.artofmanliness.com/2008/08/01/the-35-greatest-speeches-in-history)
I speak of great orators because their platforms for communication were speech and writing and there was a greater emphasis on public debate. To have an idea and spread that idea meant vetting the concept and defending its principles in a public forum. I believe this balance of communication makes for a fruitful finale. While some may never feel the ability to change stances, we should be able to handle the challenge of our ideas and that it not be required of us to change our position but to at least hear the contrary.
It’s not easy to challenge someone on their beliefs, opinions, or state of mind. After all, it could make things awkward, and nobody wants that. What we lose with this state of mind however is that great things can happen when someone is challenged. Challenges are what create growth in our lives, they cause us to reflect and perhaps alter our current state of affairs.
As coaches we must always be willing to engage in growth to create the greatest benefit for those we get to help. If we rest, or are too concrete in our beliefs we may miss an opportunity to change a life, be it someone else’s or our own. This idea extends beyond coaches though. As clients, it’s ok to ask why we do things, a good coach should be able help you understand. Coaches, should challenge one another to incite discussion. Ideas need to be vetted, and in our every day interactions we should feel comfortable doing so.
By opening our minds to view challenges as opportunities, not as disrespect, we reap great rewards. We grow as human beings, while we may experience slight discomfort because we ask someone WHY they feel a certain way, sometimes it’s those questions that stop someone dead in their tracks and cause an internal dialogue that could be the catalyst for change they need.