An Interview with Public Innovator Rich Harwood (Part 2)
Intentional choices can be hard in the best of times. What’s necessary as opposed to nice? How do we choose between things that are all necessary when we can’t have them all? How can we be confident about decisions? How can we explain our decisions to other people? These things are infinitely harder in the face of fear and uncertainty. We’re all experiencing them in degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I spoke with Rich Harwood, a Public Innovator and Founder of the Harwood Institute. It is the go-to place for people and organizations looking to fight against the conditions stifling societal progress. They coach people from all walks of life on moving society forward by building stronger communities, bridging divides, and creating a culture of shared responsibility.
Rich shared three fundamental things we have to do to make better choices in moments like this.
The first is a basic as they come: Breathe.
When we get scared, we literally, physically, stop breathing. We have to remind ourselves to breathe because it calms us. It centers and grounds us and helps us manage the anxiety we feel.
The second thing is to become more wakeful.
Opening our eyes and being more attuned. Leaning in instead of leaning away. Like children that hide under the covers from monsters, we have to pull the covers back and look around. We make good choices when we turn outward, but when faced with the pressure we instinctively hunker down and turn inward.
Finally, we need to be more intentional.
This means making discernments. Which is to say, thoughtful judgments about priorities and possibilities. The more discernments we can make, the more explicit our choices become. We become more confident that we are taking our best shot. Telling someone to be more confident is like telling someone in a panic to calm down. It only makes them panic more. What we can say is that the first step to growing your confidence is becoming more intentional and making better discernments.
To learn more about making better choices for your association in the face of uncertainty, watch the rest of my interview with Rich Harwood here: