Try This: Operation Experimentation
Lisa Noël Babbage
Author, Teacher, Philanthropist
Jan. 17, 2018
“To find out what you are really made of, consider taking on someone else’s random selection just long enough to see how your beliefs about people stand up”
When we take stock in who we are we consider variables such as culture, race, gender, ethnicity, upbringing, tradition, and beliefs. But most of those characteristics are random at best. We didn’t choose our parents so we didn’t choose our race, culture, ethnicity, gender, upbringing or traditions for that matter. The only human condition we can change is our beliefs. So how does our self identification affect our outlook when we had no say in much of the matter of ‘self?’
To find out what you are really made of, consider taking on someone else’s random selection just long enough to see how your beliefs about people stand up.
When someone tells a joke about a group you are not a part of, react as if you were. Imagine that they are telling a joke about your gender, race, culture, or association.
If you receive a preferential treatment of sorts because you are a member of a certain group, refuse it. Imagine that you cannot receive it because you’re someone else that does not qualify. This can even mean that as a manager you have earned some benefit from your employer. What if you chose not to take advantage of what you could receive and instead began to associate yourself with that lower group of individuals in the same circumstance. Sure, people will think you are crazy to defer something you are entitled to, but to truly empathize with “those people” you have to deny yourself whatever “those people” are denied.
Waffle House, Inc. does something like this with their leadership staff. The Georgia based diner chain states that every manager must start their career path off as a single restaurant manager. Their goal is to keep the homegrown learn-by- doing message alive. Altering our perception and worldview through a learn-by- doing experiment is a different kind of dice roll. The self we venture to become is the sum of our beliefs, and the one part of ‘self’ we can attempt to control.