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Middle Ground

Ralph Waldo Emerson said; “Character is higher than intellect.”

Often in our world we face challenges that pit our opinion and desire against others. Be it a software change implementation, resource realignment, or global warming, there will generally be opposing sides tangled in debate over who is right.

Pride factors into conflicting ideas and the propensity to dig in ones heals is an all too common behavior to stall change or progress. Having a good argument or counter position in a debate is healthy, when delivered with respect and the ability to remain open to contrary opinions. Substantiating your claim with supporting data and facts is great, but isn’t it better to succeed than to always be right?

Ones character is shaped, in part, by the willingness to compromise, disagree, flex, and adhere to new ideas and change for the sake of all rather than one. Pure intellect can become bent on winning by overwhelming the opposition with details that can paralyze a process.

How often after committee or strategy meetings do people feel disgruntled with one or more team members who road block change? Worse yet are the conversations that go on at the “water cooler” about said person. This, in and of itself, tarnishes every ones character.

The next time you enter into contention on a topic, pause for a moment to stand and deliver your message clearly, succinctly, with integrity, respect, and fortitude. Stay open to compromise and find the middle ground.

Character is much easier kept than recovered – Tomas Paine

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