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Addressing our knots

We all have personal biases that we need to overcome. To do this we need to challenge ourselves to have difficult conversations when our natural tendency is to shy away from them.

Complete this word association exercise quickly; do not think too much into it. What is the very first thing that comes to mind when you think of the following:

  • Politician

  • Business Leader

  • Consultant

  • Bureaucrat

  • Teenager

  • Faith Leader

  • Financial Analyst

  • Not-for-Profit Leader

  • Community Leader

  • Elder Statesman

Arrange your answers/words into two lists - one with the words you would consider positive and one with the words you consider as negative.

It is important to push the boundaries of our comfort zone. Chose one of your negatives and select someone that you would be able to talk to who fits with that category.

The challenge therefore this week is to go and have a conversation which you would not have normally. Begin by explaining Core and Flex to them. Here are some questions you might like to ask or consider;

  • Why do you hold this knot (bias)? Where has it come from?

  • What are some of the reasons for why you might have been wrong?

  • What are some of the similarities and differences in both of your Core and Flexes’?

  • What impact has this conversation had on challenging your knots (biases)?

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This article is from the free online course:

Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership

Common Purpose