By Linda Fisher Thornton
In this video, Michael DePass of CCL gives a brief introduction to polarity thinking and how it affects our communication and relationships with others.
Polarity Thinking Risks and Limitations
Thinking in an either/or way about a problem that has multiple sides/variables/perspectives limits our effectiveness. That kind of thinking:
- Won’t help us solve complex problems
- Can lead to “stuck” thinking and stalemate
- Can lead to arguing and conflict
- Compounds misunderstandings (potentially leading to irreconcilable differences)
Moving Beyond Polarities
To move beyond seeing just one pole/side of an issue, we need to learn to see the world a different way. We will need to:
- See more than one perspective as important in understanding issues
- See that more than one perspective can be “true” at the same time in the broader context
- Understanding that polarities can be connected and interdependent
In a complex, connected global society it’s critically important to get past thinking in either/or terms. Use the resources below to learn how to see and move beyond polarities to get the bigger picture.
Links and Resources
Using Polarity Thinking to Achieve Sustainable Positive Outcomes, Laurie Levknecht, RN
Polarity Resource Portal, Polarity Partnerships
The Power of Polarity Thinking in Leadership, Margaret Seidler
Polarity thinking is about managing two poles that are both true and interdependent. When you’re ready to move to kaleidoscopic thinking, read the book 7 Lenses to learn how to see through 7 important perspectives that are all critically important for our collective future.
Click the cover to read a free preview!
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