“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way that we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins
After this last presidential election, I decided that I would no longer engage in conversations relating to politics or religion unless the participants involved could maintain open, honest and non-attacking behavior throughout. Obviously, these topics aren’t conducive to that, so I’ve found myself walking away when the conversation shifts that way.
It is entirely possible to have a conversation with someone about important or divisive topics without it ending in a shouting match. In fact, it’s relatively simple. Here’s are some tips:
1.) Listen. Just shut up, and listen.
2.) Be willing to concede that you’re wrong when you are.
3.) Respect the viewpoints of your counterpart.
4.) Keep in mind that conversations turn to arguments when emotions take over.
5.) Listen some more. Just shut up, and listen…again.
Yes, it’s important to have beliefs. Yes, it’s important to be passionate about those beliefs. Here’s the thing, though: simply because you believe you’re right doesn’t necessarily make you right. Literally no one is going to have the same views as you on every topic. Diversity makes the world go ’round, right? We get ourselves into trouble when we see things in only black and white. Be open to new ways of looking at things and let a little bit of that gray in.
Listening, understanding and compassion go a long way toward making your dealings with others productive and worthwhile.
Have an awesome Thursday,