In life we can often fall into the trap of overcomplicating things. Sometimes situations and solutions are more simple than we make them out to be.
And, some situations are not as simple as we believe them to be, and call for a more nuanced approach.
According to Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder, the quality of Chesed of Tiferet, one aspect of the trait of Tiferet, invites us to see where we need to add necessary complexity to a situation that has been over-simplified.
Inviting All Voices
One example of how we can do this is by identifying important voices that are not included in the conversation and weaving them in.
Whether it’s in the workplace, the family unit, or any other situation or project, we are collectively best served by bringing a variety of voices to the mix.
Holding Back to Let Others Speak
It’s equally important to recognize when we need to hold back from speaking up to allow others to speak.
The trait of Gevurah of Tiferet invites us to see where we need to hold back, to restrain ourselves, to create space for other voices to come forward. We must recognize that if we are speaking too much others may not come forward.
Part of the trait of Gevurah of Tiferet is the awareness of when your very presence in the room — or the presence of someone else in the room — creates a stifling force that inhibits people from speaking freely. For example, employees often don’t want to evaluate co-workers or superiors with those people in the room. Or the presence of someone in a group dynamic may be causing others to subconsciously silence themselves.
As leaders and facilitators, we must be aware of when that is happening and be willing to take action to create space for all voices to be heard.
As Without, So Too Within
This interplay of Chesed of Tiferet and Gevurah of Tiferet also applies to how we approach our inner voices.
As difficult as it may be, we must create space for all of our inner voices to speak — the critic, the champion, the voice of doubt, the voice of confidence, and all the others.
We don’t have to follow the directives of all these voices, but if we don’t give them all an opportunity to be heard the ones who we stifle will end up controlling our actions from our subconscious.
Creating a Healthy Balance
In both cases — within ourselves and within the teams and groups we lead, we must strive for balance in creating space for all voices. This is always the interplay between Chesed and Gevurah, benevolent giving tempered by restraint.
Too much Chesed of Tiferet can muddy the waters with opinions and inputs from people who aren’t relevant to the problems we are trying to solve or the decisions we need to make.
And if we apply too much Gevurah of Tiferet — too much restraint in sharing our own voice — we risk leaving ourselves out of the conversation.
When we have balanced Chesed of Tiferet and Gevurah of Tiferet, we can address problems with nuanced solutions that honor the needs of all stakeholders.
Here are some journaling prompts to explore this for yourself:
- How do you honor all voices within yourself? Do you allow all of your inner voices to be heard?
- How well do you honor all the voices within your community, team, organization, or family?
- Where are you not honoring all voices or where do you need to bring in more voices to ensure diversity of perspectives?
- Whose voices to you need to add to the mix?
- Where do you need to step back to allow other voices to be heard?
- Where is the presence of someone (including you) preventing others from fully expressing themselves?