It’s not 50 Black/50 White. It’s 1 Black/98 Grey/1 White.

My last post was about passion not belonging in the workplace – I mean, sure, there are times where it’s good to bring your passion to work, but I don’t think it’s a great emotional tide to be riding everyday.
Anyway, the response was interesting, and it ended up in a person (who I’m totally cool with, and just inspired me a bit) commenting something like:
“I’m happy for your passion for passionless workplaces.”
Yeah no. It’s the absolute easiest way to blow a small meeting of the minds, into an epic rage fest. 
It all comes down to this: taking someone’s statement, then declaring they then must believe the absolute opposite of that, is akin to…. a bitch slap.
It goes like:
A – “I don’t think Australia’s current government is doing a very good job.”
B – “That’s nice, you want the opposition to run this country.”
A – “I DIDN’T say that!!!”
What could have been a really interesting conversation for both sides, is shut down as ‘person A’ gets defensive, flustered and guarded that whatever they say will be completely misconstrued. 
The solution is in the grey – whether it’s a black or white statement, always interpret it in greys.
The wonderful, wonderful greys that offer us compassion, patience and tolerance.
But the tricky thing is, this kind of shock-jock altercation is the currency of Social Media. If you want to be out there participating, you’re going to be meeting this all the time. And this is my solution – participate, receive the statement, then wait. If they really want to  understand your opinion, they’ll ask for clarification. If they’re just out there being a bit testy, save your typing. There aren’t enough tweets/facebook updates/emails to SCREAM TYPE that one out. You’ll just do your head in, and they’ll just keep merrily doing what they’re doing ‘cos that’s just the way they roll. My blessings to them, may they enjoy the type of interaction it returns – some people just really got off on scream typing.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy paddling in the greys, and am sure most of you enjoy those shallows too. I’ll see you there!
(This post is dedicated to Mr Dave Chappelle, the comedian who I just totally adore and is coming to tiny ol’ Adelaide – but sold out before the tickets went public. I’m keeping the dream alive of seeing him perform one day!)
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 5 February 2014