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A Relationship Lesson From Scalia & Bader-Ginsburg

February 15, 2016


Irma Parone

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg is probably as far left as one can be, and US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was equally far to the right.  They had an incredible relationship.   Opera was a shared passion.  Scalia actually sang in an opera!

We hear so much about the negatives (or maybe that’s what we focus on), but not the fantastic stories of the support and synergy between the two of them.  Below is the tribute Bader-Ginsburg released on Sunday to her “best buddy”.

My message is simple.  We can all do a better job of connecting and growing with people of different views..  It’s hard sometimes; I know.  Especially when our opinions are so diametrically opposed.

Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, still holding top shelf status in my library teaches us to understand.

Habit 5:  “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”

My guess is that was exactly what these two did, and did well. They also had a lot of synergy working for them. My favorite sentence in her tribute:

” We disagreed now and then, but when I wrote for the Court and received a Scalia dissent, the opinion ultimately released was notably better than my initial circulation. Justice Scalia nailed all the weak spots—the “applesauce” and “argle bargle”—and gave me just what I needed to strengthen the majority opinion.”

Synergy is great.  1+1=3.  We all need opposing positions.  If you only review your thoughts and work with people who think like you, well, you may get some grammar help, but that’s all. We need to be challenged by people who do NOT think like us.  We must look at opposing views and different ideas or we freeze in time.

As you may know, my philosophy in Parone Groups People – Process – Purpose is WIN WIN WIN.  A win for the customer, Win for the company and Win for the employee.  When everyone on our team is committed to this philosophy better decisions are made.

When discussing this philosophy, some companies “thought” that means to let employees do what they want, and give them the farm, per se.  They apparently only read ONE of the wins.

Stop, look, and listen to everyone, and THEN make your decision.  You might just get an idea you never had.

RIP Justice Antonin Scalia.  Your friendly approach and committed friendships left a place in my heart.

Want to learn how to work WITH the opposing side?  Call Parone Group 954-464-6689