Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, stated in 1978 that our intelligence grows through our own experiences and through the experiences of others. In delving deeper into this theme, it was Vygotsky's belief that we grow through justifying reasons, resolving differences, listening to other people's points of view, achieving consensus, and receiving feedback. How could these things not lead to growth? It seems so obvious, right?
The very things that lead to our growth are also the things that are directly responsible for causing the greatest conflict and stress in the workplace at times. It's no wonder why people might avoid them. It's very easy to be overly defensive when receiving critical feedback or wanting to share our own thoughts instead of genuinely listening to others. When challenged on our beliefs, it is sometimes easier to shut down rather than open up dialogue in an effort to better understand different points of view.
What is our individual and collective responsibility when it comes to professional growth? Do we stop ourselves from repeating patterns that may inhibit this growth? Are we doing a good enough job justifying reasons, resolving differences, listening to other people's points of view, achieving consensus, and receiving feedback? Which area might we invest more time and energy into getting better at? And lastly, how will we know we have improved?