The purpose of consultation is to show that the views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 176, #580)
Being both single and self-employed, I’m used to making decisions alone. Even when I could consult with others, I’ve always thought it was easier and faster to do it myself. When I became a Bahá’í and saw the importance of consultation I had to change my views. I’ve come to appreciate that when a diverse group of people who understand and respect each other’s differences and contributions consult together, more can be accomplished much more efficiently. It’s not always easy to recognize the important contribution towards the performance of the team that different members bring to the table and it’s not even easy to see the contribution I bring, when I’m used to doing everything myself.
The nine kinds of people who work best together on a team are people who:
- come up with ideas I might not have thought of
- assess the risks
- focus on details and logistics
- come up with all the reasons something won’t work
- are skilled in listening between the lines and hearing what isn’t being said
- provide motivation and encouragement
- are willing to do the work
- support and step into any gaps that might arise
- won’t give up when the going gets tough
When I look at this list, it’s easy to see my strengths and weaknesses, and relax into the idea that I don’t have to do everything myself, and I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my newly published book Learning How to Consult Effectively