The Leave Mentality

by Michael Drew on July 13, 2016

Michael Drew · Creativity in Business · July 13, 2016

Pendulum in Action, converse less and confront more, actual understandingA lot of people want to leave. Countries, places, situations, jobs, families. In the wake of the British referendum on leaving the European Union, known as Brexit (and I do wish that unfortunate word would go away, but it’s likely to stay around for a while – perhaps longer than Britain’s membership in the European Union), I’ve noticed a lot of talk about countries or states wanting to “take charge” of their destiny. You know – break away. Texas (which often follows its own star anyway), France. Scotland.

But breaking up, as the British are finding, is hard to do. We’re tangled up in blue – unhappy together, but worse apart. That’s the nature of our modern world: interconnectivity.

This isn’t a bad thing, actually. We can’t live in isolation. We really do need to interact with other people, and to accept others into our lives in order to become more than ourselves, bigger than ourselves, better than ourselves. A lot of commentators say that the Brexit results were due to xenophobia and bigotry. This is likely true. They were also based on fear – fear of not having enough to live on and of choosing to isolate rather than to band together to work out a solution.

But banding together requires conversation. And the whole argument for leaving the European Union was less an argument than a series of mendacious slogans. The people were lied to, and hysteria carried the day.

This happens more and more. We converse less and confront more: it’s headlines all the time, life as clickbait. And what suffers? Actual understanding.

In my work as a consultant and marketer, I help authors and entrepreneurs get their message out. We don’t do it through shouting, but through engagement. And it might seem as if the very idea of engagement is quaint in our current era of apocalyptic screaming.

But engagement, in the long run, actually works. When people understand what you’re about, then you have a better chance of succeeding with them. When you simply repeat lies in order to be heard above the other lies, people might believe the lie for a moment, then they regret that belief once reality sinks in.

It’s better to present the truth, but to do it in a way that actually helps people pay attention. This can be harder than screaming lies everywhere, but in the end people will respect that you respect their intelligence enough to trust that they’ll engage with you because you’ve been truthful with them.

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