I have a huge, qualified distaste for ‘woke’. Every time I hear someone doing something that sits squarely under the ‘woke’ headline, I cringe.
I don’t cringe because of the motive behind Woke. The motives are, on the face of it at least, generally positive. There is nothing wrong with accepting diversity (but why do we have to ‘celebrate’ it if the desire is to make it the norm?), gentle environmentalism, respect for other cultures. But how it’s executed is often extremist, and therefore annoying – even alarming. In the examples below I am speaking of the Extreme Woke, not (for example) the lady who challenges a sexist comment.
In the field of coaching, and more specifically in the field of Seven Habits coaching, there are some presuppositions, just as there are in NLP training. Presuppositions are the ‘unquestioned’ bases for the philosophy being promoted by the coach. I put unquestioned in quotes because one of the presuppositions is that only Principles are undeniable – everything else is up for debate.
The pre-suppositions include:
The Concept of Paradigms. The Woke do not believe that any other ways of seeing things exist but their own. They cannot be wrong. They cannot even be partly mistaken. They are already right. End of.
Circles of Concern. The Woke have a Circle of Concern that envelopes everything. They have an opinion on everything despite rarely being expert in anything. In fact, they believe their Circle of Influence dwarfs their Circle of Concern, such is their Wokeness.
Taking Responsibility. The Woke thinks that everyone else around them should take responsibility for the feelings of The Woke, and they must bend over backwards to serve The Woke’s sensibilities. Safe spaces, FGS.
Be Proactive. This is where we take a moment between stimulus and response to choose – yes, choose – our response. Many of The Woke just seem to have a knee-jerk reaction to any questioning of their thinking and consider shouting down and interruption to be their right. A right that they do not provide to others, who must be non-platformed just for thinking a different way.
Seeking First to Understand. The Woke have their conclusions and they will not be questioned or asked to explain. If someone dares to do so, they conduct a metaphorical ‘hands over years, nah nah nah=nah-nah’ technique to drown them out.
Think Win-Win. The Woke believe in their way, or the highway.
The Concept of Service. The Woke have a concept of service that stops at protestation. They write, they march, they shout, then they go home. By virtue of their youth or position they are usually unable to actually do anything about a problem BUT demand someone else solves it. Preferably with someone else’s money and time. Oh, and it must be done NOW.
The Seven Habits philosophy is about taking responsibility for the things you can and should do something about. They are about having a sense of mission that creates results. They are about understanding other ideas without necessarily agreeing with them, and they are about serving others using our talents and skills. Paradoxically, they are also about listening to the Woke.
If The Woke started applying the Seven Habits, I suspect they’d be (a) less loud and (b) more successful.
Do please pass this on to any Woke that you know. You can often recognise them by the way they take huge, fuax-offence at things that have nothing to do with them.