In my work in organisations, a frequent objection to talking together about anything that really matters, has substance, could bring about change, or about which people feel something strongly is:
“We can’t talk about that. It’ll open a can of worms.”
How extraordinarily revealing of our basic assumption about people: we’re all broken, a seething mass of darkness and poison just ready to explode in uncontrollable ways.
Is it any wonder then that we run our organisations in such fearful ways, even as we dress them up as politeness or civility or professionalism? That we spend so much of the time trying to keep a lid on ourselves?
And what would become possible if instead we cultivated trust in our own, and others’, basic goodness?