From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I heard a great term this week when I was taking part in online leadership training – sticky floor.
The idea of the sticky floor is that we often get stuck in one way of thinking or in an echo chamber of our own making. We may know that there is another direction we could go or another room that we could try, but our proverbial feet are just stuck where they are.
The trick is to make sure that we can find a way to un-stick ourselves from sticky spots and through our comfort zones to something new and better. So, why don’t you read a book you would not normally, watch a documentary on a subject you have never heard of, travel somewhere new, make connections with strangers just to see a new perspective?
This un-sticking, of course, is harder than it sounds; I know what kind of books I like and what reinforces my core beliefs. We all have gaps – experiences we have not had, knowledge we do not have, cultures we cannot begin to understand. It is only in identifying these gaps and working to fill them with new experience and knowledge that we can make a start at growth, at getting smarter.
The trick of the sticky floor is that you can only move your own feet, even if you reach out to another for a brand new, different perspective that movement must be for your own. Last year I read Fredrich Nietzsche, on purpose, as his thoughts were pivotal to a friend’s mindset on the world. I cannot say that I am now a completely different thinker, but I do have a little bit broader perspective on a different kind of self-improvement ideology.
Here is the thing, I read that Nietzsche book knowing that there was no unwritten contract that the friend would in turn read Louise Hay or Brene Brown to understand my perspective. I had to go in with the idea that I wanted to unstick my feet and not thinking that I was going to dance anyone else across the rubber cement with me.
Figure out what part of your floor is sticky and look for a path to more knowledge and awareness. And just like cleaning a floor, rinse and repeat as often as you can.