Warning – this blog post will reveal our political standings…but it doesn’t really matter, because however you view the past election, we’re all making up stories and we have to stop!

Robyn and I attended the Women’s March on Washington. It was an amazing experience. “Defiant and jubilant” is how I heard it described, and I would agree.

I learned many things that day, and experienced many more. But one of the most important things I learned – that I am compelled to share because it’s THAT important – is that we ALL make up stories. Even those of us who teach others not to.

Here’s what happened: During the March some in the crowd started chanting “Black Lives Matter.” I wanted to chant the chant, and add my voice to that cause. However, I had recently been to a community “feminism through political action” meeting that had exploded over race, and I was somewhat worried that the people of color in the crowd might not, for some or any reason, want me to chant the chant. I didn’t want them to think that I was stepping into their space if they didn’t want me there.

I watched the crowd. I watched Robyn (who is a woman of color, if you don’t know). And I, somewhat hesitantly, added my voice.

The next day Robyn and I were walking to get a cup of coffee, and talking about the March. I told her my thoughts and experience during the “Black Lives Matter” chant. “Wow,” she said, “I watched white people not chant and wondered why they weren’t chanting. I wondered if they were opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement or felt that it shouldn’t be a part of the march. I assumed it was an issue they didn’t care about….I never thought about it the way you just explained it. I never thought that they might be concerned about what I might think.”

I looked at Robyn and we both laughed. “Wow,” I said, “we teach this stuff and we STILL make up stories ourselves.”

Robyn and I are extremely lucky that we can talk about almost anything, if not anything. We have built our relationship, and built the trust in our relationship, to have the tough conversations that so many of us don’t know how to have with each other. For that I will always be grateful.

But perhaps the most important thing is the kick-in-the-butt reminder that we all make up stories, all day long. About ourselves. About each other. About each and every situation.

We all make up stories because we’re human and it’s what we do. It’s how we try to make sense of our world.

And we all need to talk about them. More and more. That’s the only way to build the trust and come to understandings.

Where have you made up stories and how have you learned to stop?
Click here to comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For support in maybe making up fewer stories, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit:thinglass/Bigstock.com

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