I faced a decisive moment yesterday.
Without providing the detail, just let me say that I shared an idea that I believed had tremendous power and truth. I knew when I shared it that some of my friends would be troubled by it. But I wanted them to read it and think about it. Some read, some thought about it, and some responded.
And that’s when the decisive moment surfaced.
I’ve been writing about the Better Understanding Project. To this point, I have hovered around the first step — a commitment to the principle of what I have called in other arenas, the “Three Cs” (Communication, Conversation, Community). More about that will be unveiled in my next article.
The second step in the Better Understanding Project is to identify a thought or a concept that is worthy of exploring and put it out there for others to consider. That is what I did yesterday.
But I’m skipping to the third step in the Project process, because I was surprised when I reached it yesterday.
You see, the third step in the Better Understanding Project is to personally resubmit to the process. It is the decisive moment for success.
After I launched the idea for others to consider yesterday, I was warmed by the positive responses I received. But then, I received a single negative reply. Succinctly worded, a friend simply said, “I don’t agree. But I hope you have a great day.”
My first inclination was to force my friend to reconsider or to assume that he misunderstood the thought or, if all else failed, to belittle him for his lack of mental acuity. After all, something was wrong if he didn’t agree with me.
Then it hit me. He had done exactly what he should have done. He considered the idea, he discerned his personal position, and he firmly, yet kindly, made that known to me.
And I almost blew it with my self-centered response.
But it was the decisive moment. And I decided to resubmit to the process — to see if I could come to a better understanding of his thought processes and his values.
“Thanks for letting me know,” I replied. And I’ve begun crafting my next conversation. When I reached the decisive moment, I found that I truly want to come to a better understanding.
It’s this third step that will set us apart. I hope that you will be thinking of what you will do in that decisive moment. It’s coming.