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There are two sides to everything!
The mischief of polarization

In the end, one is dead, and the other is marked. We know the story.

Two brothers barbecued for their master, one meat, the other vegetables. Both show all they can do.

When they offer the grilled food to their master, he chooses to take only the meat instead of both.

Cain then kills his brother Abel.

In the Abrahamic mythology of the origin of humankind, this is the beginning of all discord. What would have happened if the two had worked together?

The first lesson that cooperation serves to prevent conflict is obvious.

The second, that favouring individuals is lousy leadership, is also apparent.

What interests me most is the question of what motivated the author of the story to create such a polarised narrative and what worldview lies behind it. Obviously, it was crucial for him to portray the brothers as rivals from the outset.

On the other hand, I think that an essential step towards becoming human was that our ancestors learned to work together to acquire food and raise their offspring. In my view of the world, the brothers would have offered their master a mixed grill plate and taken it as bad manners if he had picked out the meat again.

Besides, I don’t experience the world as „either-or“ but as complex. It is rarely a question of choosing one of two solutions. Weighing up one versus the other is rarely effective. On the other hand, many a conflict can be defused by asking what other possibilities for consideration and action might be.

This is also the case in coaching. People seek support because the possibilities for the next steps, or the possible they see, do not appeal to them, perhaps even frighten them. The option of „both-and“ the grill plate seems not to occur to them. They also don’t want to think of the question, „May there be other ways?

The coach, too, is confronted with many possibilities of how to proceed, which she offers science. He has to make a choice. It is hardly possible to know them all. Even having many of them in view simultaneously easily fails because of the complexity of the whole system.

A workshop on intution in dealing with multidimensionality and complexity in coaching is offered jointly by Dr Antje Heyer, Diane Wood from @Sinnreich Wendland and myself in September.