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Let's talk about nuance

Jul 26, 2023

I'm seeing a lot lately of folks making really black and white pronouncements and I just want to offer a little gut-check.

'It's all about the money, money, money' (as Jessie J put it)

You might be doing it because a business coach told you it was a way to sound authoritative or confident, or a way to start discussion by being a little controversial. Ok, so sometimes these tactics work to gain you more followers if they like what you're saying, and yes, that can lead to more sales which equals more money. Cool.


But what's the cost? What are you contributing to the culture by over-simplifying in these ways? I absolutely accept that in a sound-bite world, you're being reductionist to catch the attention, but when you play this way, what kind of monster are you feeding? We are ALL contributing to culture with each interaction.:

* with what we respond to and what we let slide...

* with how we show up

* with the values we subscribe to

* with what we allow to motivate us

* and so much more besides.


Messy humanity

I am well aware that nuance is not as punchy as making a sweeping pronouncement, but here's the thing:

Humans are messy. Life is messy. So much of living is done in the grey areas. When life gets reduced to easily knowable either-or dichotomies, nuance is lost. And that hurts... PEOPLE.

If you're a leader, if you coach others, if you have friends or family, heck, if you have breath in your body, you are influencing others, and if you are reducing the rich complexity of life or people to simple 'it's this OR it's that', or 'they're either with us or against us' ... I can guarantee you are missing the richness and nuance of the mess that is humanity. Apart from anything else, humans are rarely capable of being that consistent!!


Them 'uns v. Us 'uns

The 'this OR that' attitude can also result in a 'them or us' mentality which - having grown up in N. Ireland in the middle of the 'troubles' - I can tell you DOES NOT LEAD ANYWHERE GOOD.

It may feel cosy to make rock-sure pronouncements without any wriggle room or nuance, but if you have any interest in bringing cultural change for the good, let alone leave a generational legacy, then my friend you are going to have to make peace with the simple fact that many of the issues you will encounter in this life are messy and complex and much of life is lived in the nuance.

I invite you to join me in checking ourselves when simple dichotomies feel attractive or when cosy 'us v. them' attitudes creep in...

None of us are going to do this perfectly... thus meaning that we too need the grace and wriggle room of grey areas as we muddle through in our imperfect best efforts!

If you need help to work through this for yourself, drop me a message and let's see how we can work together.

If you would like to join me on retreat to work on this and whatever other issues delight your heart, you still can: