Heard and Understood? Of course, right?
This quote crossed my desk on Monday, and I knew it was what I needed to share with you this week.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.
Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience.
No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.“
I did not realize this quote is famously attributed to Thich Nhat Hahn. (A Vietnamese monk who passed away earlier this year.)
You might remember that I like using a particular phrase. Change your thinking for the better. I have always believed this with my heart and have tried to incorporate it into everything I do with business and life.
I must admit, though, lately, I have been flummoxed, stymied, and downright annoyed at my inability to try to change people’s thinking for the better. No amount of logic, facts, case studies, or even charming stories has worked.
I have concluded that Thich Nhat Hahn is correct. Facts, data, logic, and even charm do not work. I need to understand first.
Which is bloody difficult.
How on earth can any of us understand and show that we understand when we know we are the right one?
Truthfully, the answer to that question is like everything profound. Simple but not easy.
The first part (the heard part) is to articulate the other person’s view in your own words so that they agree that what you say is their position.
Really? I can hear you say. You might find this rather old but brilliant article helpful.
And the second part, the understood part, is to let go of your desire to have the situation resolve itself in the manner you would like it to. Instead, beam out peace and goodwill and let the Universe do the rest of the work.
Please accept whatever happens to happen. No. Embrace it.
I am trying this way. Neither perfectly nor confidently.
Simple? Yes. Easy? Hell No!