I know, easier said than done. I never said it was a piece of cake but…it is possible given some consistent effort and willingness. Often what we see in marginalized groups that have been oppressed is a high level of infighting. Why is this? Well, the simple answer is that where there has been oppression and disempowerment we learn to fight each other instead of the establishment. So…instead of coming together to work in unison, focusing on the issues we turn on each other. In many ways this may seem easier to us…. and it is a learned behavior. The good news? It can be unlearned. This takes time. We need to create alignment in our systems. We need to come together, slow down and take the time to focus on our relationships, to create understanding and dialogue. Only then will we be freed up to focus on the issues as opposed to attacking and making each other wrong. Leadership can be highly affected in a negative way by this dynamic. Simply by stepping into a leadership role (character) they can become a target. I’ve seen many good hearted, committed leaders who are doing there very best to navigate a complex system end up on the receiving end of what I call character assassinations. Notice, how the names and faces of leaders changes yet many of the same issues exist? If we can stop making it about people and their character we can pause for long enough to begin to discuss the issues….our needs, concerns, hopes and dreams for the future.
Ask yourself, what it would take to put down the tendency to criticize and begin to focus on what the issues are. If I didn’t make it about so and so being a such and such what is the underlying issue that needs to be addressed? What do we want collectively? How do we do it together? And what needs to change and how do we change it?
Unless we can talk about things in a way that creates hope we will continue to cycle around in an endless stream of criticisms towards each other. This in itself keeps us stuck.
So remember…. focus on the issue not each other!