In Part 1 of this two part blog, Rae Miller, Associate Consultant and Facilitator at Prospera Partners, discussed the concept of multiple truths and how it can be a valuable tool in moving “us away from our defense mechanisms and into being present in fostering productive dialogue.” In Part 2 she explores how this is reflected in our work:
Ethical questioning, or multiple truths, falls seamlessly into the reflection on “I, We, It.” It can be as deep as the “I,” a reorientation of my internal compass to being more understanding when something doesn’t happen in a way that I expected. It can also be understanding my own capacity. Is this where my energy is most useful?
The “we” can be reflected in our relationships, our work environments, with our peers. Did someone say something that didn’t feel “correct?” Does that require your intervention, or can you step back to hear their truth, expanding the opportunity to find common ground or shared understandings?
Most easily I think this is demonstrated in our work environments through the “it” all the time. For example, we can think of the nonprofit sector. Maybe the organization has “always done it this way.” Do we hold to our strict expectations and immediately reject new ideas? Or, can we re-orient to ensure the organization is prioritizing work that centers our communities? Can we take that a step further to rethink our partnerships and processes to make the work more impactful?
Ultimately, “‘rigid radicalism’ stifles productive tension and risk-taking by tending towards mistrust and fixed way of relating that destroy the capacity to be responsive, creative and experimental” (from the book Joyful Militancy).
Are we more concerned with being “right” or are we increasing our capacity to hold multiple truths, knowing it will increase our capacity for creating productive dialogue and new ways of being moving forward that have equity at the center?
We know this work is difficult and is best implemented with support from our systems and our peers. This is why Communities of Practice are often utilized by Prospera Partners. These Communities of Practice (CoPs) can be community level like our Emerging Leaders Program (next cohort launching May 13). They can also be embedded in our strategic planning work. CoPs are an opportunity to shift the work by digging deeper into transformational leadership, the “I, We, It” of it all in an intentional and supported environment. As Vicki always says, “The work works on you, and when you change, the systems around you begin to change.”
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