Monday, 6 October 2014

What Do They REALLY Think?

You can tell when there's a British election in the offing. People with a vested interest in getting others to agree with them get very prolific on social media.

It got really obvious during the Scottish Independence campaign, where the Yes team got positively nasty, long before the No team warmed up. Of course, as soon as the No campaign started to gather pace, then the gloves really came off. Now the anti-government campaign is gearing up with clever ad-hominem attacks on coalition Cabinet ministers and the newspapers that support a particular viewpoint.

Over the pond, US election campaigns have been run like this for decades. I don't see that as a plus for democracy.

What I see is a generation being turned away from politics. They see their parents being put off from discussing election matters because of the vitriolic ad-hominem attacks from all sides. They decide that "they're all the same", because the type of message is the same.

If you don't think like us, you are worthless. You are evil. You deserve to be removed from our society. You must conform to our thinking or suffer the consequences.

No collaboration. No empathy. No team players, not even on the same team. No point.

The lesson I take away is this: If I want to be sure that I am being listened to, then I need to listen to others. I need to hear what they're not saying, as well as what they are. And I need to show that I understand, or I'll never build the trust that leads to a successful team.