Willing to Be Disturbed

Most people I meet want to develop more harmonious and satisfying relationships—in their organizations, communities, and personal lives. But we may not realize that this desire can only be satisfied by partnering with new and strange allies: uncertainty and confusion. Most of us weren’t trained to like confusion or to admit when we feel hesitant and uncertain.

In schools and organizations, value is placed on sounding assured and confident. People are rewarded for stating opinions as if they’re facts. Quick answers abound; pensive questions have disappeared from most organizations. Confusion has yet to appear as a higher-order value or as a behavior that organizations eagerly reward.

And as life continues speeding up (adding ...

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