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"Thursday Thinking"

©2019 by Weaving Futures. 

  • Carolyn Stuart

The Benefit of the Doubt

And so we come to the end of the year and the final blog post for 2019. Before launching into my final post I do want to thank you for reading and in many cases responding to my writing. It is lovely to know the value people gain from what I share.

My final blog post for 2019 is about the 'Benefit of the Doubt'. I’d never really thought too much about what this means, until I listened to this podcast by Seth Goodin on, yes you guessed it, “The Benefit of the Doubt”. As I listened to Seth’s wise words I realised that the reason I have given so little thought to the benefit of the doubt is because, for most of my life, I have generally enjoyed the privileges of belonging to the societal group who receives the benefit of the doubt on a daily basis.

In our society you are most likely to receive the benefit of the doubt if you are white, middle class, educated, well-spoken and male.

I manage to tick all but the last box!

However, as Seth points out, if you belong to a minority race, have not had the privilege of a good education and the main language spoken is not your first language, then you do not enjoy the benefit of the doubt. In fact, you constantly have to help people move past the biases they hold towards you in order to be trusted at all.

2019 was a big year for me. I left full-time regular employment, (the type that comes with a weekly paycheck), to set up my own design thinking and leadership coaching practice. It was a giant leap of faith both for myself and my husband. But it has paid off and as I head off to enjoy a much needed break, I go knowing I have lots of work scheduled for next year, and feeling really grateful that everyday I am doing work that I love.

There are a couple of reasons why my leap of faith has paid off. First was that I understood that whilst change happens step by step its impact is exponential. I wrote about this in my blog post Understanding the Nature of Change. This meant that on the days when I was filled with self-doubt I kept moving forward knowing that every success, no matter how small, was quietly doubling its impact, often hidden away in the background.

The second reason was all the people, throughout the year, who gave me the benefit of the doubt; my husband who encouraged me to give Weaving Futures a go; people who signed up to attend a Design Thinking workshop, not because they understood how powerful the process was to bring about change but because they gave me the benefit of the doubt based on my past mahi; the people who read this blog, signed up for Thursday Thinking, shared my writing across social media, forwarded my emails onto colleagues, reached out and hired me because they liked what they were reading. To everyone who has supported me this year, who gave me the benefit of the doubt, I give you my heartfelt thanks.

Reflecting back on 2019 I have concluded it was my ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ year (If you’ve never read the book pop it on your holiday reading list now!). A year to start afresh, to re-evaluate what matters, to spend time at home, not always rushing to catch the next plane, and a time to be still, to think, to trust and to reconnect with the important people in my life. I am so excited about the future I am weaving.

Thank you for being part of my journey this year. I hope that next year we will continue to travel together as we weave positive and compelling futures for ourselves and those who we’ve dedicated our lives to serve

‘Til next year


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