Melting the Political Polar Ice Caps

Our planet is needs frozen polar ice caps for the climate to thrive. The human environment does not. When people develop frozen views about each other, it’s time for a social climate change.

LinkedIn is normally a safe professional space that intentionally tries to keep politics out of the posts and discussions. Every other social media platform is wide open for political debate. Let LinkedIn be a place where we can see each other as people without the labels. Labels are for cans. But what should we do when the social environment surrounding this platform is dividing and harming people in it? Clean it up. Take care of it. Take care of each other.

What makes cleaning up our social climate so hard is that many of us are playing by the rules of a win-lose game on all sides of the political debate. Winning and losing is part of a finite game. Our lives contain finite games, yet they exist within the larger infinite game of life. As players we come and go, while life carries on with or without us. That’s what make life infinite and poeple finite.

@SimonSinek explains how we know life is an infinite game because no one wins at life, business, or politics. We may try, but all fail. Everyone of us. Since business is an infinite game with no ultimate winners or losers, that’s one reason LinkedIn is a respite from the political bickering. Instead we can help each other stay in the game and improve it while building people up along the way.

When astronauts describe out planet from space they don’t see borders, they see one planet with one human race. The Earth we share is playing an infinite game while we live and die relatively short lives. Taking a big picture view, @SimonSinek points out is less about “save the planet” and more about “save the humans.” The planet will carry on with or without us — it will be fine in the long run. What about us?

How are we going to bring out the best in each other in our finite time here? Are we going to make our social climate more livable or are we going to freeze out those we think are stuck in the opposite pole? We can’t go on acting like we’re living out and endless season of Survivor.

No matter how much we think we have THE answer, it’s a waste of time to beat people into submission with our mission. It doesn’t work for long in sales, coaching employees, supporting our family, or politics. Either the people in charge run out of gas or the people on the receiving end run out of patience and move on. Social climate change can improve when we:

  • listen to understand and build trust, not to correct or fix.
  • ask questions to clarify views and facts, not justify our cause.
  • tolerate disagreement with respect while seeking genuine common ground.
  • extend a loving, helping hand, not raise an angry or coercive fist.
  • acknowledge and correct our own faults, not be distracted by the faults of others.

LinkedIn is a space where I can engage with professionals in positive and productive ways that would never happen on Twitter or Facebook. Each time we read, post, and comment we have the potential to restore our social climate and help each other stay in the infinite game of business and life.

The social climate change we seek doesn’t create winners and losers. We help to thaw the frozen positions we see around us. We can’t wait for people in power to unify our nation. We can to that right here. Right now.

Life is a team sport — pass the ball.

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Paul Berggren

Paul Berggren

I help people listen and learn from each other. As President of Crown Global HR, I bring clarity to growing and hiring people.