InsideOut Development

Be Bold. Be Open. Be Forgiving.

by Nancy Q. Smith
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Have you ever stood at the intersection of opportunity and crisis at a time of great need and gotten a powerful, just-in-time insight to propel you forward?

A few years ago, I was leading a discussion with a senior team whose members were not aligned around an important issue. What the group most needed was to surrender their current view and be open to a new approach. I asked them at that time to commit to three things:

1. Be Bold
2. Be Open
3. Be Forgiving

They agreed to suspend their disbelief and commit to these principles in our time together. This commitment served as a launching pad for sincere, authentic dialogue and a new realization of their mutual accountability to the desired outcome and to each other.

These simple principles are grounding and can be applied any time there’s a need to have an important discussion in order to move forward. I’ve also found these three phrases have a broader meaning and a greater application than I initially realized.

Be Bold.
Always take risks and try new approaches. More of the same begets more of the same.

Be Open.
Learn from your experiences and from others. React thoughtfully rather than emotionally. Surrender the need to be right and replace it with an openness to focus on the right outcome. Commit to the common destination but recognize there are many paths. Stubborn insistence on your own path often results in walking alone. Sometimes, that’s the right thing to do. More often, it isn’t.

Be Forgiving.
Forgiveness goes in both directions. Most of us struggle with forgiving ourselves, which in turn prevents being bold and open. Get over it.

These principles help keep me in the moment and help me challenge myself to pay attention. Like them? Try them.

Picture of Nancy Q. Smith

Nancy Q. Smith is a facilitator, consultant, and learning and development executive with over 30 years of experience. An in-demand speaker for supply management and human resources audiences, Nancy has also been published in Training Magazine. Nancy has been married to Tobin, the boy who stood next to her in her kindergarten picture, since 1988. They reconnected at the Wayne State library and have been together ever since. They are the proud parents of two children, Walker and Claire, and two fluffy dogs, Emma and Indie.

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