We have all heard a eulogy that includes “He/She didn’t suffer fools gladly”
When I hear it I cringe – I know some-one will say that in my eulogy and I face palm ( after washing my hands for 20 seconds)
How do you change years and years of habits that include eye rolling, heavy breathing and saying what you think before you think about what you said.
Its a given
” In the course of your life you will be continually encountering fools. There are simply too many to avoid. We can classify people as fools by the following rubric: when it comes to practical life, what should matter is getting long-term results, and getting the work done in as efficient and creative a manner as possible.”
Fools carry with them a different scale of values:
- They place more importance on short-term matters-grabbing immediate money, getting attention from the public or media, and looking good.
- They are ruled by their ego and insecurities.
- They tend to enjoy drama and political intrigue for their own sake.
- When they criticize, they always emphasize matters that are irrelevant to the overall picture or argument.
- They are more interested in their career and position than in the truth.
- You can distinguish them by how little they get done, or by how hard they make it for others to get results.
- They lack a certain common sense, getting worked up about things that are not really important while ignoring problems that will spell doom in the long-term. Source
The natural tendency with fools is to lower yourself to their level. They annoy you, get under your skin, and draw you into a battle. In the process, you feel petty and confused. You lose a sense of what is really important. You can’t win an argument or get them to see your side or change their behavior, because rationality and results don’t matter to them. You simply waste valuable time and emotional energy.
So how do you learn to be strategic? I am learning to be more strategic in the language I use by surrounding myself with people who think and talk strategically and when I meet them I introduce them to the young people I work with.
Meet Charlie Arnot who conducted a two hour workshop for the young people I work with yesterday. Charlie is the ultimate strategic thinker. In this short extract from the workshop he discusses traditional issues management in agriculture and how we can move from being the “Party of No” to the “Party of Solutions”
Charlie finished his workshop by giving the young people I work with an Optimising Sustainability Framework model to help them work with people in agriculture to create an culture of accepting change and being willing to listen to, and hear the message.
In dealing with fools you must adopt the following philosophy: they are simply a part of life, like rocks or furniture.
All of us have foolish sides, moments in which we lose our heads and think more of our ego or short-term goals. It is human nature. Seeing this foolishness within you, you can then accept it in others. This will allow you to smile at their antics, to tolerate their presence as you would a silly child, and to avoid the madness of trying to change them. It is all part of the human comedy.