Whether you are in business, education, government, or any organization, including your family, the skill of reflection speaks to the opportunity to create greater awareness, more intentional actions, and can build respect between groups or people whose positions collide. With the obvious post-election division in our country, creating opportunities to reflect and listen allows people to see a boundary from all sides and accept the differences.
To reflect is to look back, in the same way a mirror, photograph of still body of water casts a reflection of an image for others to see. The practice of reflecting involves showing an image of each person or group and builds sensitivity to the other’s needs, values, beliefs, and preferences. Reflecting illuminates the differences and similarities between groups and helps each to see and accept their boundary and ultimately respect the difference.
If you are looking to bring two groups together for reflection, respect, and action, “Boundary Spanning Leadership” by Christ Ernest and Donna Chrobot-Mason, provide a few simple next steps:
1. Create opportunities for groups to listen and learn from each other
2. Ask powerful questions to uncover deep differences
3. Let commonalities emerge from differences
4. Counteract the tendency for groups to want to make them like us
5. Slow groups down to speed them up
“Like a mirror, you must reflect and represent the image r identity of one group or person to another,” says Ernest and Charobot-Mason. “Capture the image and identity of each group, free of judgement and bias. Only then can you accurately share knowledge, perspectives, and the experiences of each.”