It is impossible to be right all the time. Well…except, of course, when you are the mother.
Parenting aside, in my former career as an attorney, it was my job to convince a judge my view was the correct view. Most legal arguments are carefully formulated through research and brief writing. On occasion, attorneys present oral arguments in pretrial hearings or during trial. To be prepared an attorney must anticipate all counter arguments that could be raised by an opponent. In doing so you may prepare for many scenarios that do not occur once you are in the courtroom. The necessity of thinking on your feet and reacting is exhilarating and challenging. I really enjoyed the process of advocating strongly for a specific outcome.
Outside of the courtroom, the reality is there is rarely ever one right answer to any given problem. In fact, research shows that diverse perspectives bring about better solutions. Moreover, as much as I trained to convince others that I am correct all of the time, I know this is not the case. Real problem solving requires many perspectives.
In my role at Community Foundation of North Louisiana, I am often involved in meetings where the goal is to understand and solve complex community problems. It is clear including many different perspectives yields the best ideas. As people our perspectives are a product of many different factors: our race, our gender, where we grew up, what we do for a living, who we surround ourselves by etc. Diversity of thought provokes thought and better performance.
When someone challenges our ideals, it promotes us to be creative and work harder to come to a consensus. In working towards a better community, I am challenged by new ideas almost daily. To solve complex problems, we must work together and push one another towards innovation. Be humble. Be open. Listen hard. Don’t be afraid to be wrong once in a while.
This article was written by CFNLA CEO Kristi Gustavson and originally published in the Shreveport Times on July 21, 2022.