I starting thinking about…


I read this line yesterday and it got me thinking about nonconformity.

“A culture that prizes traditional conformity, for example, may perceive specific kinds of individual rights and freedoms (e.g. freedom of speech) to pose a threat.”   Geographical Psychology, Exploring the Interaction of Environment and Behavior edited by Peter J. Rentfrow

There certainly is ease within organizations or families when conformity rules.  However, there also is a lack of creativity and innovation when we don’t have opposing viewpoints to challenge our long-held assumptions.

“A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates
when he becomes a conformist.”   —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Similarity or perceived similarity creates PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY to speak our minds, knowing that people basically agree with you. The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson refers to the people in our lives who challenge us as “BEAUTIFUL ENEMIES”.   What an apt description, huh?  We need to be challenged to be stretched.  Keep your beautiful enemies close AND consult them often.


How do we share our perspectives without making others wrong?

Perhaps the goal isn’t to change minds.

What if our goal was simply to be HEARD?

To be heard, we have to LISTEN. Really listen.

Now, if I can practice what I preach, my teenagers would tell you I have a lot of work to do.


I have a very helpful one page pdf file titled Blocks To Listening.  It’s a real game changer for both our personal and professional lives.  I thought I was a decent communicator—I learned that I was way off the mark in so many ways.  E-mail me to request a copy.

4 thoughts on “I starting thinking about…

  1. Hey Lisa!

    Of course I’d like a copy of Blocks to Listening! I know I’m better at talking than listening, so I’ll take all the help I can get!

    My supervisor at Mercy Connections sent something awhile ago that I’ve found very useful. In a sort of graph form, using the letters of the word THINK, consider what I say before speaking: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?

    When I reply in this format, some of my words run off the edge. Do you get all of them?


    Sent from my iPad


  2. A great example of Beautiful Enemies: Ruth Bader Ginsburg & the late Antonin Scalia, actually wonderful friends and encouraging colleagues with polar opinions.

    • Thanks for reading. I really think we need those opposing positions. I feel like it helps me more clearly state what I’m thinking when I’m speaking to someone who has a very different opinion. It’s easy to get a little lazy and use short hand when you think you’re on the same page. Nice to hear from you.

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