As adults we often envision an improved future and when we do that we also often speak about how ‘we all’ need to work together.
Working together implies thinking together. If working together means everybody doing and supporting what one person or one group of people want – that would require people to both be ‘of one mind’ and be willing to work ‘toward one goal’. Life generally isn’t that simple.
As people look and progress toward a better future different points of view exist. Diversity of thinking is more likely to occur than not. A group of people are and represent many things.
Some might be rich, comfortable, poor, rural, urban, sub urban, religious, secular, young, old, gay, straight, working, unemployed, retired, healthy, ill, educated, illiterate, homeless, veterans, disabled, and the list goes on – all of us make up the complexity that is our reality. Plus, this specific list tends to frame the ‘diversity of America’ so when we consider the global diversity that exists the complexity continues to expand.
Thus, working well together really requires thinking well together. To think interdependently will likely require developing an authentic relationship with others. The following are some of the many skills and abilities to consider developing as you increase your intentionality to think interdependently.
Appreciate the power of diversity. Different points of view and different thinking is a reality when groups of people come together. Embrace this reality as a potential strength to be cultivated.
Listening to others to understand and appreciate their point of view. Avoid ‘labeling’ what others think, say or do. This can feel like ‘name-calling.” Instead be willing to probe and listen to gain an appreciation for the thoughts, word choice and actions of others.
Remember that all of us have a need or urge to be understood by others. We all find peace and enjoyment in being with someone who sincerely is listening and showing that they comprehend our thoughts. Such conversations help us to open up and think freely out loud. So, strive to be the person who is sincerely listening.
Go into the process of working toward thinking together with an awareness of the fact that this will take time. It takes time to build relationships. And relationships are what allow for the honest sharing of thinking that can lead to actually thinking together.
As the process of appreciating, listening, and understanding unfolds for all in the relationship explore together the dreams you have in common and talk about those shared dreams, hopes and desires. Shared dreams can ‘bind’ people together. Relationships need to begin to from and develop before people are willing to share their dreams with each other.
When you discover ‘shared dreams’ explore how you might work and think together to achieve your shared dreams. Then begin to act in accordance with those shared dreams.
Thinking, dreaming and working together is worth the effort!!!