Last week, I introduced you to 'Kok's Law': If I am thinking something, or feeling something, at least half the others in a group or meeting are likely to be having the same thoughts or feelings! Assuming this is true, it can give us the courage to speak up when we might have been silent. Kok’s Law, used discreetly, can give us the nudge many of us need.
Of course some people don’t need help to take a risk and speak up. But, others of us do! Kok's Law reminds us of the high probability that many other people are thinking the same way that we are and support for our viewpoint will be present. That may be all some of us need to gain the courage to trust our hunches, ideas, opinions, feelings and step up to the podium, or take action.
Here is an example. Have you ever been in a room with other people when you felt very warm? What do you usually do? You look around and wonder if you're the only one feeling that way. In humility and the desire to not be disruptive, you suffer the discomfort.
But . . . you could ask, “Is it warm in here?” Kok's Law says: If you’re warm, at least half the others are warm, too (unless you’re getting the flu or catching a cold.) By speaking up, you are acknowledging the discomfort of many others, who were also too timid to speak up. By daring to raise the question, you lead the way to more comfort for everyone.
Kok’s Law has become my faithful companion. It has helped me in scores of situations where my natural self-consciousness used to limit me and hold me back.
The thesis underlying Kok’s Law is that I’m a somewhat normative human being with sensitivities and responses similar to those found in at least half of the population. And, as I said last week, I give you Kok’s Law to use carefully. I guarantee it will work at least half the time.