We cannot lean into the unknown or unexpected without practice.
Remember hide-and-seek? I never loved hide-and-seek because my experience told me that I would find a great place and then wait, hardly breathing while I could hear the seeker walk past. Eventually, they would yell “Gotcha!” and scare me right out of my stillness and stealth. My heart still races when I think of all the little spaces I acrobatically crammed myself into. But it was practice; we practiced getting lost (and found), critically thinking about where to hide and how to stay quiet.
We negotiated who was “it” first and when the game ended (sometimes leaving players to hide for much longer than expected).
What if we could take that skill and continue to practice it today? I don’t mean giant games of hide-and-seek on multiple floors of an office building. (Although I could!) What I mean is that we need to continue to practice the skills of gameplay, strategy, and preparedness for what is around the corner.
Let’s practice active curiosity.
Can we stop assuming we already know what the other person is thinking before starting the conversation?
Let’s choose to be curious without judgment. Can you imagine if we could teach people to ask with curious kindness before making assumptions or drawing conclusions about people?
Lots to think about as we transition to a new year.