What is your worldview and how do you know? What information, beliefs, values, connections does your worldview filter in and filter out? How does it influence what you believe, what you value, what you care about, your relationships, your communication, your life style? Most people do not know the answers to these questions. Most people have never thought about them.
“We think with and through our worldviews but not about them.”
If you haven’t thought about these questions, it is akin to being blindfolded and not able to see what is right in front of you, or having blinders on and not able to see or access what is in the periphery. Lots of irrelevant information gets filtered out and that is very helpful as there is far too much information available to possibly take it all in. The challenge is when relevant, helpful, important, sometimes life changing information is filtered out and you don’t even know it happened, you don’t even know the array of choices that could be in front of you because only one or possibly two present themselves.
Worldview Intelligence is a personal leadership practice and the exploration is foundational to the other categories of exploration available – professional, organization, community, social systems, to name a few. Each time we deliver Worldview Intelligence programming in open enrolment programs or for a client, we ask the question, “What is our starting point?” Unless it is for a keynote or short demo, we come back over and over again to the same answer. The starting point is with the personal exploration. For exactly this reason ~ that people have given little, if any, thought to what their worldviews are and what the impact of them is.
The six dimensions of the Worldview Intelligence framework that we have developed by building from the Apostel framework, provides an elegant structure for this exploration. This often illuminates things for people that seem obvious once they are made visible but otherwise are running in the background ~ 80% of our worldviews operate in our unawareness – impacting us in unconscious ways.
Understanding your own worldviews helps you understand where and how you differ with someone else. The points of difference are often hidden or disguised, looking like something else – a disagreement about facts or a difference in opinion. You can take offence without understanding what it is that has offended you or understanding how to bring curiosity and compassion to another individual, their point of view or a situation.
In a recent Worldview Intelligence program, one of the participants was surprised at how they arrived at compassion for someone with whom they differ. They might not ever agree with that person but imagine how approaching that relationship with compassion changes the whole context for the conversation.
The personal exploration is foundational to the other explorations and it becomes obvious as people begin to imagine how to create the space for multiple worldviews, stories and perspectives to exist in the same space to fuel generative conversations of discovery or new, more comprehensives solutions to issues of mutual concern or interest. To tease out your own worldviews, what you naturally gravitate towards, to understand what is usually dismissed, opens the opportunity to hold yourself in a position of not knowing, of curiosity, of willingness to hear something you disagree with without immediately dismissing it, debating it or trying to normalize it. It changes the conversation and expands the possibilities. And it is an exploration that you can hold open for as long as you need, even for a lifetime, as your own personal leadership practice.