The older I get, the more I know absolutes rarely work.
The HR Leader/Generalist motto is true - the clear path always lies somewhere in the middle. Case in point - 2020! What a year, and it's only going to get better! An election coming up in a less than 2 months! #freakshow
Examples from 2020 that the truth is always somewhere in the middle (listing the extremes on each side below, and all of these things impact the workplace, which is why they're being discussed here):
-People who can work from home are never coming back to the office/WFH and isolation is crushing people
--We need to go on lockdown until Covid cases are at zero/The economy is the most important thing
--Masks and face shields are mandatory at all times/I should never be forced to wear a mask
--Big Ten Football/SEC Football (gotcha!)
This list goes on, plus it includes all the issues our country has dealt with in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.
2020 is hard. For everyone seeking to build consensus, get change and generally make things better, I present a group you'll need called "the middle":
The middle is an interesting group. They're watching and listening and agree with most or all of what you say, but many in this group are wary of extremes. The more your position is framed as non-negotiable and you refuse to include them in the dialog, the more they fade away. You'll never even know they're gone.
Conversation is key. For my visual friends, I offer up the following classic from Seinfeld called "The Ribbon Bully" (click on the link if you don't see the video below, it's a keeper). Let's stay together, have conversations, get meaningful change and figure this out. And for all my friends in the middle, when someone surprises you and wants to have dialog, it's non-negotiable to engage and try to listen more than you talk.