Double-Edged Sword

Double-edged sword is a phrase I often heard as I grew up. Its meaning is that something has two sides to consider. Something that looks great could have a negative side. A course of action may have both positive and negative effects. Something has both advantages and disadvantages.

You don’t have to run away from a double-edged sword. Best, however, to develop the ability to see beyond one edge to the other. Cultivate discernment as you evaluate situations. Make sure you see the whole picture and don’t get caught by the glitter of one edge.


photo: Dieter_G,

Out There

Part of the change and chaos of our times is that things once thought to be “out there” are coming to be found out as more regular than others wanted us to believe. The focus of the moment is sexual harassment. With recent allegations, “systems” built by harassers and methods to silence victims are out in the open more than ever.

What’s the lesson in this? It is to look critically at any statements made that you or someone else is “out there”. The phrase can be used to intimidate and cover up. Make your own analyses and always stay aware of others’ agendas when they accuse you or others of being out there. Most likely, it’s the situation that is out there and needs to be handled.


photo: geralt,

Discernment Is a Skill

Discernment: the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.Merriam- Webster Dictionary

Many things can obscure your ability to see situations clearly. If you do not see clearly, you are acting on faulty data that can lead to faulty action.

Have you cultivated discernment as a management skill? Here are some ways that you can.

• Identify some of the “filters” you bring to how you see things. For example, if you highly value efficiency and organization and experience a person that is not so, you conclude they do not know what they are doing.

• Identify situations at work that  “press your buttons” and cause you to lose your center.

• Identify any insecurities you bring to your work and how they affect your interactions and perceptions. For example, “I am never appreciated enough for all I do”.

• Identify any “blind spots’ you may have that obscure your perceptions. For example, you think that everyone has good intentions to start with. Or bad intentions!

Discernment is an acquired skill that comes with experience, observation and focus. Become more discerning and watch your skills as a manager take a leap upward!


photo: dan,