An “echo chamber” is a room that reverberates everything you say. In a professional environment, being in an “echo chamber” means finding yourself surrounded by a group of people that nod to whatever you say. Yes-people. Reflecting everything you say or do with little to no original input into your process.
I don’t see echo chambers often in groups of people I get to interact with but I still see it more than I should. I’d like to explain how I refuse to be in echo chambers and then provide a solid reason why others should consider doing the same.
Every time I find myself in a situation where I interact with a group of people, I like to be challenged. If I’m challenged and see a valid reason for others’ points of view, I reflect and update my way of thinking.
If I find myself with a group of people who are simply agreeing with everything I say, I immediately start thinking of excuses not to be around them anymore. In cases where this is impossible, I start challenging and rattling their brains until they’re woken up, forced to think for themselves, and begin offering original input!
What’s interesting is the way that I view these interactions where I’m being defied: These are little exercises for a bigger fight, perhaps a final battle!
Viewing these instances as “practice” helps me avoid the possibility of feeling insulted by others while I improve. “Ignore your ego and prep for the bigger battle,” I say to myself. Sooner or later, I will need to use these new procedures or schools of thought or whatever I picked up on the way.
But what if there’s no “final battle”? Did I spend all that energy avoiding hurtfulness and maneuvring complex dynamics for nothing? Was it all a waste of time? Hell no, it wasn’t! Even if there’s no final battle, I still effected change (hopefully for the better) on myself and others!
If you need a reason to stop being in an echo chamber or stop facilitating an echo chamber, you should understand that continuous improvement comes from learning by not being afraid of different perspectives. An echo chamber is one of the biggest enemies of continuous improvement.
“You have nothing to prove and everything to improve!” — Unknown