Understanding your center of gravity can dramatically impact how you do business and life.
Let’s face it, we interact with a lot of different people each day, and it can be stressful. When you understand your own center of gravity, all this can change.
I’m talking about stages of human development. To simplify a complex conversation, let’s use the analogy of a ladder as discussed by the renowned philosopher Ken Wilber.
The Ladder of Life.
Picture yourself as the climber on a ladder. Each rung represents a basic level of awareness. These rungs are the building blocks of consciousness or what we call stages of human development. Each stage is home to your worldview—how you perceive life—to include your self-identity, your needs, and your sense of morality.
As we climb this ladder of awareness, we never entirely abandon the rung below. Rather, the awareness and perceptions that we had at the earlier stages add to our understanding of life. They are part of our development as we evolve or climb higher up the ladder.
As our awareness is heightened, we develop broader perspectives on life. We perceive and understand more.
The center of gravity, then, represents where you are currently positioned on the ladder.
Conflict arises when we interface with people on different rungs of the ladder because we don’t often understand or share in their perspectives.
The Ebb and Flow of Consciousness.
Depending on what’s going on in our lives, we may regress back down the ladder. We experience an ebb and flow of awareness. We may even get stuck on one rung for a while. Pain and suffering, for example, may blind us and make it more difficult for us to move onward and upward.
Sometimes we need the advice and expertise of a professional to help us make sense of our life experiences.
Such is the essence of human development. We move up and down the ladder of consciousness. One stage is not necessarily better than the other. It’s just a different world view. The point is to be healthy such that we live a robust life no matter where we are on the ladder.
Okay, that’s a lot of explanation but necessary to ground this discussion in at least three reasons why this level of understanding is important to our experience of business and life.
More Compatible Relationships
Understanding your own center of gravity helps you develop a deeper sense of yourself in relation to others.
The process of growth and development always begins with self. How do my perceptions of life impact my relationship with others?
For example, I may have a tendency to hire employees who are skilled at their job but who have a different perspective on what it means to be loyal. Such differences can dramatically impact our tolerance for one another.
If I understand the unique perspectives that each of us brings to the table, I may hire differently and be more discerning about how I position people in my business. I will also have the capacity to manage with greater wisdom.
Greater Compassion and Empathy for Others
Understanding your own center of gravity also helps you be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. If you have someone in your life who is positioned at an earlier rung on the ladder, you may have the capacity, without malice or judgment, to understand their meaning-making systems.
For example, your top sales person may think that the only way he can be successful is to undercut other members on the team. He may not yet understand the potential for a collaborative approach to prosperity.
Having the capacity for greater compassion and empathy can help you determine clear and specific ways to lead and/or mentor people from earlier stages of development such that they begin to experience different perspectives on how to best perform and experience life.
Less Stress, Worry, and Frustration
Many of our daily challenges with other people stem from own our sense of right and wrong. When we only interface with others based on our own egocentric desires, it’s easy for us to become disenchanted with those around us.
Understanding your own center of gravity helps you put a microscopic lens on any propensity for power, control, and approval.
Maybe you’re having trouble delegating to others because you’re a micromanager. Or, maybe you struggle in meetings because you have trouble hearing the opinions of others.
When we come to understand and value our own strengths and weaknesses in relation to others, we gain greater confidence in our ability to lead or manage. We intuitively know when to train, educate, delegate, or even terminate. The result is less stress, worry, and frustration. We learn to create results without making other people wrong.
If you’d like to learn more about the individual stages of development and what they potentially mean to you in your business and your life, I invite you to stay tuned to upcoming blogs in March. I’ll be exploring each of the characteristics and behaviors of these stages.