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Turn Adversaries into Allies

Updated: Feb 16

The Ethical Lexicon #12: the power of dignity and grace

When things go wrong, what is your first reaction:

How can I minimize the damage?

How can I learn from the experience?

How can I shift the blame onto someone else?

What passes for national dialogue makes it clear that we’re far more interested in pointing fingers than we are at solving problems. And that’s not just a flaw in our character. It’s a danger to the foundations of our society and our own personal well-being.

In fact, research suggests that scapegoating is the single greatest cause of polarization.

Ironically, the origins of the scapegoat are profoundly misunderstood. Perhaps if we reframe the model, we might learn some lessons to help us approach challenges and conflict in a more productive and mutually beneficial way.

Gandhi, MLK, Susan B. Anthony, and Nelson Mandela all demonstrated that seeking reconciliation serves our own interests far more than seeking our pound of flesh. It’s long past time that we took their lessons to heart.

Fortunately, there are those who are doing just that. And they provide not only inspiration for us to change our outlook, but also a useful tool we can use in business, education, and every aspect of our lives.

Please click here to read about it in this week’s column in Fast Company.

Image by Victoria_Watercolor from Pixabay

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