Tolerance is good, right?

It’s right to tolerate differences. To respect others. To be ok with diversity. I am me and you’re you. Living in a multicultural democracy teaches us that (London reminds me every day).

Thing is, tolerating others isn’t good.


I’m working hard to stop tolerating others. You see, when I tolerate people, it’s like I’m standing on the sidelines looking at them thinking that’s ok, they can be whoever they are.

I do respect them, but sometimes tolerating tolerates judging. They don’t do things my way – so I make them  kinda wrong. Sometimes I find myself feeling negative about them. I might even feel sorry for them.

I’ve mentally (rationally) accepted them, yet on some (emotional) level I still slightly look down on them. Outwardly I’m saying they’re fine – yet inwardly I’m thinking they’re not quite good enough.

Tolerance can leave a very slight negative taste in the mouth.


I’m working hard allowing others.

What I mean by allowing is that I’m fine with how I am. Sure, there are things I’m working on, but nevertheless I’m pleased, even feeling joy about how I am.

And, I’m fine with how you are. Indeed, just like I have a right to be me, you have the right to be you. However different you might be to me, you’re great just as you are.

Allowing leaves the judgment at the door. It suspends all negativity. Allowing prevents any possibility of me wanting to convert you to my truth, to what I think is right. Indeed, I flourish in understanding your truth, in how you create your world.

Allowing helps me embrace our differences. Allowing helps me really celebrate our diversity. Allowing helps me champion our contrast. It helps me get closer to inner peace. And thereby creates freedom.

Metaphorically, allowing is a large, welcoming embrace – whereas tolerating might be a gentle nod of approval.

You see the difference?


What’s more, allowing creates a more creative environment.

If leaders allow, if leaders consciously and intentionally rejoice in the diversity on their team, if they really champion difference, their people are more likely to express ideas especially those that are contrary. They’re more likely to suggest something new, something slightly different.

Allowing stimulates creativity and innovation – new ideas to enhance your creative campaigns, improve process, attract that new client and grow your business.


So, all you leaders, have a think about how you’re allowing in your teams.

If I was to ask your team how allowing your team culture is, what would they say? Do people feel safe enough to express contrary ideas without fear of reprisals?

How do you know every single team member feels ok to make off-the-wall suggestions?

Do you, for instance, at the start of each meeting specifically ask for ideas that contradict the prevailing thinking? Do you explicitly invite marginalised opinions to be said? Do you challenge your team to put yourselves in other perspectives, which might yield new information?

Have you appointed someone to challenge and question the status quo (might be on a roster system)?

And, on a broader level, how do you see the spirit of allowing in your greater organisation?

It’s part of delivering more conscious leadership.


If you want more sharing of ideas and more creativity in your team, then contact me about team coaching. We’ll uncover what’s holding your team back and get you moving forward.