The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The desire for answers

Answers have something soothing. They solve the problem of not knowing. They give a clear direction. They allow using someone else’s expertise. They allow showing one’s ability to lead. That is, they reduce uncertainty.

An answer reduces the need to think. And a quick path to an answer facilitates thinking.

Another way to look at it is that it’s a process that invites dependence. Is based on convenience. And allows to shift responsibility away.

Yet another way to think about it is that having the wrong answer is a risk. Similarly, lacking an answer provokes status anxiety.

The practice our culture makes us subject to is one of delivering answers. The pupil in class who’s the first to give the right answer is the winner. The leader who doesn’t have an answer is perceived as lacking vision, decision ability, or competence. The teacher is best known as a source of knowledge. The ability to ask for advice has become the ability to listen to others.

And thus we are surrounded by models giving us easy answers.

It might be a great way to raise our performance. However, we’d better integrate a method to validate the answer we’ve found.

If it’s a personality type model explaining how to communicate, check-in if it works. There are more options than having failed to use the model.

If it’s a leadership theory defining how to be a leader, look for the places it doesn’t address.

If it’s advice that doesn’t resonate, ask yourself how it connects with the problem you described.

Answers are useful. Especially if they allow to move forward.

Sometimes a wrong answer is the best place to start available.

But thinking about it is the only way allowing to discover if it was the wrong one.


Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *