I’ve been thinking a lot about the “AND” lately, both in my personal and professional life. This has particularly been relevant when I found myself thinking in either-or’s. A personal example of this related to a conflict with someone I am close to. Emotions ran high and it became easy for me to dig my heels into my point of view. After sleeping on it and taking some time to self-reflect, I explored the possibility of my point of view AND that person’s point of view being both valid. I also asked myself what it would be like to truly believe that both of us were simply doing our best with the tools (and energy) that we had in that moment. It was a worthwhile self-coaching exercise that helped me include the two of us in a compassionate field. When I got there, I felt more centered in my body and it allowed me to open up to new approaches to our next conversation.
We live in a culture that seems to thrive in the “EITHER OR” narrative, which is ultimately rooted in a scarcity mindset. Scarcity mindset is about seeing everything as a zero-sum game (win or lose). In this kind of mindset, there are only two choices: compete or compromise. Compete means one side wins and one side loses. Compromise means neither side gets what we really want.
A common question I get is about whether it’s possible to be human-centric AND high-performing. Underlying this question is the assumption that the heart and the mind are on different ends of a spectrum that requires a choice — competition or compromise.
Similar to my personal example above, I think it starts with being aware of our holding of polarities (either-or) in the first place. Oftentimes, we feel the tension of the two opposing forces and feel like there’s a choice to be made between one or the other. What if we got curious about that orientation and whether it’s true?
With increased awareness, the invitation is to explore a third place to stand on from a place of abundance: a place of union, integration and the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. Finding the Win-Win. Creating a collaboration of seemingly different extremes to come up with new possibilities in ways of Being and creating impact.
Seeing possibilities in the “And” is a radical and accessible shift — especially as it pertains to integrating the mind and heart in the workplace. I’ve seen leaders do this very authentically and effectively, and it often starts with a change in orientation. See what kinds of tensions or polarities you’re holding today and how you might orient towards them differently. If you’d like support doing this, I’m available to chat.