Why Do We Collude?

Does Collusion Make Sense?

Collusion, in a lot of ways, is very understandable.

Avoiding the “zone of discomfort,” by risking the very discomfort that often makes honesty possible, keeps us in a state of emotionally, and even physical, safety.

Mediocrity can be seen and experienced as the price worth paying for maintaining a status quo that ensures that conflict is kept to a minimum. Calling things by their real name can be overwhelming for many people, especially at the lower end of things, were criticism can demotivate, where acknowledging our performance is less than it could or should be, can leave us in low spirits.

Why make misery when things aren’t THAT bad?

Why rock the boat when at least that boat is still afloat?

For many, challenging mediocrity is too risky. Challenging others can be seen as provoking conflict, and creating conflict is largely seen as dysfunctional.

Yet that is not true in all fields, especially where there is a pressure to improve performance on a regular basis. Where there is strong ambition, challenging mediocrity is seen as a normal part of driving performance and results upwards.

Challenging mediocrity can be done sensitively and with emotional intelligence without being collusive. It can also be done clumsily and brutally. Even the word “challenge” can feel threatening but that need not be so. Challenging can be part of the creative process. Challenging opens up new possibility. If it is part of a normalised culture based on trust and openness, challenging may not be traumatic or felt as a threat.

When collusion breaking becomes part of a nonthreatening norm, challenge becomes a welcomed process.

Healthy challenging involves questioning the validity and relevance of assumptions, of habits of thinking and practice that all short of desired potential. It can create discomfort , which is why trust, openness and honesty are vital to collusion breaking.

People often sense what is possible in an ideal world. People imagine the best and often dialogue about it in private. When we challenge a collusion of mediocrity we bring this often suppressed dialogue out into the open and put it onto the table for discussion and action.

Collusion can be beautiful

Collusion, according to Mike  Fitsimmons, is an essential cornerstone of peace. Collusion is part of the beauty of human striving, from the child that tentatively tries and initially fails to ride a bicycle or climb a tree, to the adult on a path of learning and self-discovery. Collusion allows people to be mediocre, and mediocrity can be part of our necessary clumsiness and frailty. And yet, that very mediocrity can also hold back our potential, if it is our potential we feel restless about, and what to realise it. Too much collusion can add a sickly quality to our striving; it can almost encourage us to not realise our potential. Collusion-breaking does involve risk, and its longer term beauty may only be realised in the long run.

Yet there certainly are collusion- breaking methods that can cause more damage and do good.

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