image: CNN International

You’re going to think I’m mad, sticking my head out, going in with a headline like that… I’m willing to suffer the consequences of being called naive.

I’m not asking to be made Prime Minister – should the position become vacant – and I really don’t know how the UK will exit the European Union, with a deal, without asking for an extension of Article 50 – which the EU can’t handle, because how can the UK have one foot in and one foot out of the EU and for the Union to still function – or, to now stay in… but I have the ideology, the lens through which all of this should be approached.

And my! Do I wish it had been looked at through this lens at the start!

What’s missing, and has always been missing, from this process, is the
understanding and acting on the fact that not everyone wants the same thing.
The confrontational, choose a side, nature of British politics has not allowed
for meaningful, progressive collaboration.

So, what is the answer?

Well, we -all- need to want to talk to each other with understanding. There’s a reason I say “all”. Think about it. Whichever side of the Brexit debate you’re on, can you happily say you can converse robustly, but respectfully, with someone on the other ‘side’? Wanting to be understanding – that’s CQ Drive. Motivation. Work on your motivation to want to understand those with a completely different view point.

OK – now why do they feel that way? What is it about the other person’s life, experiences, job, family etc. which has shaped them into having their viewpoint? As Dale Carnegie of “How to win friends and influence people” says, people can only be the way they are, they can be no other way, their lives have made them who they are, and so they react in their way for a reason. And so, what can we understand about that – what do we need to know, how can we start to understand those values? This is CQ Knowledge. Gathering the information you need to understand.

Now, what is it about yourself that you need to work on? What do you need to realise about yourself? How about your gut reactions? What biases are coming into play? Being self-aware is crucial, because it’s not just about those who are different to us, we’re in this too. And how are you managing the knowledge you’ve gathered? Are you jumping to conclusions about it? Check what you think you know. And plan carefully how you’re going to use the knowledge you have – this is CQ Strategy.

Then, address the conversation, the difference, the negotiation, the challenge, with an open mind. Careful to listen first and pause, before reacting. Adapting as you go to take into account the values at play. This is CQ Action.

It’s a process, a method to allow for greater understanding… and that’s the answer to Brexit. It’s effortful and resourceful and it takes time. At least then, however, all viewpoints would be considered more fairly.

It’s simple really. But it starts with wanting to… being motivated to understand.

If any UK politicians would like to get in touch, I can be found at…

Er, actually, do I want this job?

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