What a great word – perhaps. It’s never really been apart of my vocabulary before. Being from Oklahoma I tend to use alot of simple words. (there’s one right there, alot) This past week I spent 2 days in strategic planning meetings and a new colleague (now that’s a biggie for me) joined us. Several times he introduced his ideas or thoughts beginning with, ‘Perhaps…..’. This is my new word for the week, perhaps.
I love the way that sounds and what it implies, respect. You’re not telling me what to do or what to think, you’re asking me to ponder, to open myself up to a new idea, consider a new possibility. It’s a gentle way of asking me to listen to another point of view or new information with an open mind and put aside the preconceived judgement I might have already made. It’s asking me to consider again before I make a decision.
I’d never been in a meeting with this new colleague before this past week. But if I’d had any defensive guards up, his ‘perhaps’ disarmed them. At the end of the day I may not have changed my position on the topic at hand even though his argument or point was prefaced with ‘perhaps’. But it might be a better decision or position now because it’s been reexamined, discussed anew and challenged. And he demonstrated how to be gentle, respectful and yet challenge others thinking at the same time.
Perhaps you might want to try my new word this week too.