Sunday, June 28, 2015

Answer to prayer for GRIN Free book

On May 14, I asked you to pray that I will stay open to learning, and encounter people and situations which can refine my writing of the book, GRIN Free--GRIN Together: How to let people be themselves (and why you should). Your prayers are being answered.

At the Wisconsin United Methodist Conference, I bumped into an old friend, and told him about the GRIN types (Gadfly, Relational, Institutional, Negotiator). He immediately claimed to be a gadfly (a very gadfly thing to do), and told me about his invention as a high school teacher of a rubric which assigned 50% of the grade to the student's formulation and defense of a unique opinion. In other words, in order to pass his class, students were required to behave as gadflies.

I am withholding the name of my friend because I realized that his invention oppressed non-gadflies. That, in turn, caused me to realize that I oppress non-gadflies myself. A non-gadfly might hold an opinion because the Bible says so, or because they love someone who holds that opinion, or because it is calculated to win them the best grade. My friend threatened to punish students who evaluate in those ways. I oppress non-gadflies by limiting my communication style to presentation of evidence and arguments that challenge current understandings. How could that be useful to anyone but a gadfly? If I allow only gadflies to have meaningful interactions with me, then I am no better than my friend.

Why am I not affirming institutions which support evaluative diversity? Why am I not building an industry of diversity management? Why am I not counselling people about specific relationships in their lives that suffer from evaluativism? These are the kinds of interactions non-gadflies would find useful, and which will hopefully become possible as the new concepts become mainstream.

On the other hand, getting to those kinds of communications will take me out of my own comfort zone. It will also take a lot of learning (and/or help). Thank you so much for your continued prayers!

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