Posts Tagged ‘ agency ’

Mapping The Levels Of What Gets Discussed

There are untold levels of interpretation and perspective that shape our meaning, interactions and experiences. Making sense of these levels is the challenge. Understanding the dimensions that are at work, why they exist, and the nuances they bring to what is being said, how it is being said and what remains unsaid is fundamental. The good news is that there is structure at play that can help to uncover undercurrents, build meaning and provide perspective. The secret lies in knowing where to look.



It’s Levels All The Way Down

Things are not always as they seem. While this is true enough, it belies a complexity of interaction and meaning that makes up the whole messy, awkward and complicated way that we communicate and collaborate as human beings. We use levels of meaning to obfuscate and deceive. But we also use them to find freedom and agency. Once we understand that, we open up a whole different perspective on power, play and opportunity.



We Are All Liminal Now

I wrote about liminality a couple of years ago, as a framework for thinking about change and transition. I was in my own period of in-between at the time, and it writing it has helpful for me, and arguably resonated for many others. The thing about liminal transitions is that typically it’s personal or organizational. Today, it is societal. We are all going through the same transition, together, at the same time. That can be a bit daunting.



Hitting The Reset Button

Given our current reality, many of us would like to hit the reset button. But we need to define just what we are resetting. And where we would like to reset to. Our currently reality is one of stress and uncertainty. It is also one of opportunity. Played right, we have the opportunity to reframe what we do, how we do it and who we do it for. That’s an opportunity we are rarely faced with; the opportunity lies in taking advantage of it.



Tyranny Of Rules Or Freedom To Choose?

Rules define how we approach virtually all aspects of life, not least of which is how we function in our organizations. There are the written rules, and the unwritten ones. Both shape our behaviour, and they interact with one another in fascinating and sometimes unpredictable ways. The larger question is how we interact with the rules around us—and whether or not it is safe, appropriate or advisable to do so. That depends a lot on the organization around us, how it functions and how we perceive our role within it.



Principles Matter

Some of our hardest questions are hard simply because the situation is complex and the possible outcomes are fuzzy and abstract. Knowing how to make a good decision, and how to sustain one, is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to be able to sort through the fuzziness and get to the heart of what matters.



We Should Stop Using Should

Constructive criticism very often isn’t constructive. We also tend not to receive it well, even when it’s well-meaning—and sometimes even when we ask for it. Part of the problem is with our use of the word “should.” It is a word of judgement, criticism and deflection We probably shouldn’t use it quite as frequently as we do.



First, Do No Harm

We shape our own existence, and we define our own experience. While that might not be a popular sentiment, it’s no less real nor true. The biggest challenge is that we are often fundamentally aware of the underlying beliefs that create our experience. If we want to make a difference in the world, we may first need to make a difference in ourselves.



Either You Can Or You Can’t

There is a lot written about getting work done. And a lot more about procrastination. When it comes to results, though, our ability to be successful depends largely on our perception of the situation.



Motive and Opportunity

Trust is a big thing. A strongly related concept is motive. Our motives shape our intentions, and our perceived actions lead to some pretty significant conclusions about our motives. Getting to the heart of what we are doing, why we are doing it and what we might want to do differently is pretty essential.



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