Today I get to present to you new perspectives on learning. I realized after beginning to write about another topic that due to an incident which occurred this week that kept gnawing at my noodle, I had to write about it instead. The question begs, how much do we really take in when we’re closed up? In order to present fresh perspectives on learning with a “multi-faceted view” I have to give you some kind of background about this incident with a “tunnel view”.
There is a Facebook page that I had followed that promoted some good values on defending against hatred, violence and anti-Semitism on the internet. They had been posting some good links and thoughts which I thought were informative and felt was a good message in educating others. However this week they posted something that was inconsistent with what they had in the past. Now mind you, it wasn’t really the actual subject of the post that was the issue. I will mention that it was a rant about a polarizing public figure. Now I have no objection to anyone exercising an opinion with the intent to educate openly and effectively. The thing that bothered me was the inclusion to the rant that anyone on their page who supported, defended or rationalized this figure or opposed the opinion of the Page would be banned. In addition they also proceeded to disrespectfully name-call and label their fans and supporters who had some opposing views or questioning doubts.
This shook me up a little as I suddenly had a slew of thoughts about how this type of one-sided, closed-minded perspective from anyone is the least effective in the mission of true educating. This was not a forum for open discussions and respectful debate. Contrarily this was a shutdown of all other thoughts that were different from that of the Page. I perceived immediately the difference between educating on different levels and promoting a single-faceted limiting view. Immediately following this they posted something about how their fan base decreased by over 100 because of speaking out against this figure, despite fan comments about how they instead felt their opinions were attacked merely for expressing them, followed by more rude name-calling on the Page’s part.
I decided to comment that fans were dropping out because of their intolerance of other opinions and not because of their views about the polarizing figure of Glenn Beck. They deleted my post. Next there were several more posts by them, who were now over 200 fans less, berating their “fake supporters” as “stupid”, “ignorant” and “idiots”. I once again, commented about how they were missing the point and compared it to a point of sale where they were not understanding the real objections of their “customers”. I also mentioned a few other things I observed that could get their message across more effectively, basically changing their approach which I felt was causing the massive drove of fan drop-out. They didn’t like my perspectives—they banned me from their site. But not before I actually received several “likes” on my comment itself!
The point of this is if you want to inform others, influence them with factual, honest education, sell them on an idea or concept, you have to first allow yourself the opportunity to be open to listening, expanding your own perception, accommodate and address objections with more information that will get your message across. There is a point in communication when the recipient at the other end of the name-calling and labeling stops listening, blocking out all possible essential information coming in.
In NLP Persuasion Engineering™ we learn and we teach, that helping produce positive brain chemistry opens up new neuro-cortical pathways, opening up new paths to learning and making new positive patterns while negative brain chemistry closes us down to further learning, taking us down the same neuro cortices, engaging the same old patterns. When we are flexible rather than rigid in our approach to our customers or our public we can match them on greater levels. When essential elements are not being matched between seller and buyer, often communication is severed. When people are feeling good and expressing their needs, we become more open and we make better decisions; we also become open to more information and learning. The opposite of this is impedance and a mental shutdown.
In this case, if the administrators of the Facebook page had expanded their own views, perceptions and exercised flexibility, they might have learned that not only was their approach the wrong one for their cause, but also that the “objections” they received in the form of varied opinions may have been a call for simple but necessary further education of their fan-base or public. Having a better understanding of, and matching their personal expectations to that of their fan-base would have opened the doors to better communication. Now how would you respond in this case, to these different elements of persuasion – hard sell vs. soft sell; invitation vs. provocation; seduction vs. force?
The fact is we can learn from every situation, everyone is our teacher if we just look beyond the mire and see the gem. You will experience for yourself that when you keep yourself open, you open up your own path to growth and you will not only learn something new, but you’ll get to teach someone else something new too. I am exceedingly grateful for the lesson I received within the adversity of even this simple incident, presenting me with another opportunity to perceive more, open my own filters to learn something new so that I can pay it forward.
Update: Incidentally, I have been keeping tabs on that Facebook Page and fans are still dropping like flies!
Note: These are just a few perspectives. I have more—as should we all.