The past couple days have highlighted the United States’ House of Representatives' inability to have productive conversations. Gradually, then suddenly, it has impacted our entire country. Operations have been put on pause, from our government strategy to education to our national parks. For the members of the House, there is a lot at stake for the best decisions to be made, and yet, many people directly in the conversation are stuck in their own perspectives.
In the book Fierce Conversations, there is a quote from Rumi that states: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.”
That field needs to exist in our government.
At Fierce, we explore how important it is as a leader to go into conversations with the goal of making the best possible decision for the organization rather than being “right”. It is hard to swallow because most leaders (and our elected officials in leadership positions) feel they must have all the answers and be right about everything they face. They think that is what people want from them. Not only is that an impossible expectation to meet, it just flat out puts their heads in the wrong space. A leader's real job is to foster conversations that respect many perspectives, so the best decision can be made.
So it may seem like an impossible feat to ask: How can this culture of blame and stalemating ever shift in US government politics?
Our answer: It is just like any organization. It shifts one conversation at a time.
The people in Congress can’t wait for everyone around them to change in order to get curious, put their egos aside, and start building the relationships needed to make the best decisions for the country. When people step into conversations that way, there is more accountability for everyone involved.
At fierce, we have the privilege of seeing this firsthand. We oftentimes see large organizations, in all industries and fields, get fierce, and shift in ways they never thought possible.
So our call is this: Start the change now - one conversation at a time.
Congress, you must. A lot is at stake – for our country, for our businesses, for our children.