The Practice of Giving an A


  Benjamin and Roz Zander, in their book ‘ The art of possibility’, illustrate the practice of giving an A, as a means of shifting away from the world of measurement and moving into the universe of possibility. An A can be given to anyone, to a waiter, to our employer, to our parents, to the members of the opposite team, to the other drivers in traffic, to our own selves. 

The practice of giving an A does not involve approving of everyone and everything. It does not entail any fallacy. It is about being open to a perspective that is different than your own. It is about acknowledging the universal desire in people to contribute to others, no matter how many barriers are to its expression. Quite often we fall into the trap of identifying our own agendas within the standards, and this is when we become judgemental stepping into the world of measurement. 

When we give an A, we find ourselves speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against our standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realise themselves. It is an enlivening way of approaching people that promises to transform you, as well as them. It is a shift in attitude that makes possible for you to speak  freely about your own feelings and thoughts, while at the same time you support others to be all they dream of being. 

Giving yourself an A, is not about boasting or inflating your ego. It has nothing to do with reciting your accomplishments. It is about acknowledging your intention to do your best or to act to the best interest of everyone involved. It liberates you, lifting you off the success/- failure ladder and spirits you away from the world of measurement.

This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into. 

Source: Stone Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2000) The art of possibility. USA: Penguin Books

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