Could the Law of Polarity Make Us More Compassionate?

By Ann Tardy – HR West 2018 Keynote*

The Law of Polarity states that everything has a polar opposite.

In physics, polarity is a basic feature of the universe. Positive and negative forces are foundational to the structure of every atom.

If everything has a polar opposite, then perhaps…

  • a problem cannot exist without a solution
  • an opinion cannot exist without an opposing opinion

Maybe the struggle we have lies in our failure to contemplate a solution or consider an opposing opinion.

As an example, Peter and Mary work as sales reps at an event company that just implemented a new policywhereby customers will not be charged for cancellations.

Peter is frustrated by the policy. He orders lunches and copies based on reservations. Why should he have to pay for no-shows? And how could he possibly manage his sales with such uncertainty? This policy makes it super easy for people to cancel. Mary has the polar opposite perspective and approach.

Mary is enthusiastic about the policy because of its ability to attract customers. In every sales conversation, she excitedly shares the benefit of working with her company: people can register now to save their seat and cancel any time. This policy makes it super easy for people to commit. Mary’s sales have gone up, while Peter’s have gone down.

Same policy. Opposing perspectives.

  • What if every problem we face actually has a solution that we just haven’t yet identified?
  • What if every argument has an opposing viewpoint that we just need to consider?
  • What if every negative experience has a positive experience that we just need to discover?

Of course, all of this requires that we suspend our judgment about a policy, situation, or person in favor of contemplation, consideration, and compassion.


About Ann Tardy, JD, CSP, LifeMoxie Mentoring & Leadership
As a former Silicon Valley corporate attorney and a current entrepreneur, CEO, and manager, Ann knows people from many dynamics. In 2003 Ann used her moxie to launch LifeMoxie Mentoring & Leadership, a leadership consulting firm, and MentorLead, a cloud-based software application to build better bosses, stronger communities, and more effective organizations. Ann earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association, was awarded Outstanding Business Woman of the Year by the American Business Women’s Association, and honored with the Vanguard Award from The McGraw-Hill Companies for her contributions to their employees. Ann is the author of four books: Ambition on a Mission (2007), Moxie for Managers (2011), Why Mentoring Matters (2013), and Moxie for Mentoring (2016). She reveals her findings in her keynotes, her articles, her books, and her documentary.


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