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Emulating No Drama Obama

December 1st, 2008 by Alison · No Comments · lifestyle

While organizing the agenda of a difficult, contentious meeting at work recently, I told my coworker Pam that I was holding “No Drama Obama’ in my mind as my role model. She smiled and gave a thumbs-up to this notion, wanting a productive meeting as much as I did.

The meeting turned out to be partly productive and partly contentious — but 100% of its productivity can be chalked up, in my view, to the calmness that people WERE able to muster, i.e. listening to each other, gathering new information, being curious rather than defensive or aggressive, and asking civilly for what we wanted. In other words, we were productive to the degree that we avoided drama.

It strikes me that our culture’s movement toward sustainability, this navigation through enormous change, needs the ‘no drama Obama’ set of skills. This good article on the human ability to stay calm under pressure states that while part of our ability to do this is genetic, much of the ability comes from learning and practicing it.

We don’t have to fall apart or act out in anger as we deal with a scary economy and a rapidly warming climate. We can be resourceful and copeful, instead — that’s in all of our genes. We are here right now precisely because our ancestors dealt successfully with change over hundreds of thousands of years.

A month ago we got to vote for the presidential candidate of our choice, and a majority of us voted for Barack Obama. But that’s really just the beginning of our choices related to him. We can choose on a daily basis to be calm and minimize our personal drama as we deal with a dramatically changing economy world.

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