You might be contemplating a physical road trip and have multiple choices. We’ve become accustomed to seeing our GPS, or Google Maps, plot various routes, distances and time required to travel each one. The route you ultimately choose reflects your travel requirements, balanced by your preferences. The routes may or may not be Low or High in a physical sense; they could just as easily be Highway or Scenic, Toll Road or Freeway, or simply Shorter or Longer. They provide different means to an end, however, and the differences matter.
I recently enjoyed a personal travel experience that specifically offered choices of The Low Road, plus an option to follow The High Road, to reach the same destination. A local resident expert advised taking The Low Road going out along the valley, for ease of travel, but heartily recommended traveling The High Road for the return trip. The return trip required longer and involved multiple twists and turns, but afforded an experience that wouldn’t have been possible any other way; spectacular views and overlooks provided a chance to pause and admire the breathtaking scenery. There was infinitely more variety than could be seen along The Low Road. When you decide to travel The High Road, however, allow yourself the time to appreciate its diverse surprises.
In our lives and daily work, “travel choices” also exist in a virtual sense. Before beginning a meeting, or carrying out a project, consider the desired outcome and match your approach to fit. Sometimes the quick action and shortest trip is the way to go; The Low Road may not be the most fun or satisfying, but it may simply enable you to “get the job done” and then pursue other, higher-priority activities.
If you’re focused on building a high-performing team, travel The High Road. Take a bit of extra time for the people who are with you on the trip to prepare them for what lies ahead, and show patience by explaining the “Why” and not only the “What”. Pause along the way to adjust, reflect and appreciate the progress you’ve made together.
When it comes to relationships, The High Road is the only way to travel. Whether personal, work, professional, community, ethnic, religious, elected or some other form, the characteristics of High Road relationships are rooted in Respect. We've all witnessed words and actions of those who routinely travel The Low Road; insults, intolerance and abuse create a rutted and muddy trek destined to put those travelers into the ditch or, at the very least, end the trip bruised and dirty. By modeling the behavior we expect, we are much more likely to discover those qualities in others and find our way onto The High Road.
Enjoy the Journey -- via The High Road -- on the way to your destination!