Communicating with others who don’t share our point of view can be challenging at best and volatile at worst. Fortunately there are some simple conversation guidelines that can help you navigate those uncomfortable and controversial conversations.
Having open-minded conversations with people who have different perspectives is critical skill for success. We need this skill more than ever after the division of the last election.
“I know why he voted for the opponent. He is prejudiced.”
“I can’t even speak to colleagues and family members anymore given their point of view. It’s maddening!”
It’s been quite a polarizing election season with a lot of accusations and negative name-calling. Political correctness and civility have been thrown out the window. People tell me how hard it is to speak to colleagues, neighbors and family members who advocated for a different political candidate. How can we be so polarized and see the world so differently?
It is human nature to be influenced by our experiences and background. None of us can see the full picture. We are likely to take one or two issues and choose to support or not support a candidate. Then we are sure others are wrong who do not agree. How can someone not be pro-life or pro-choice when it is so clear to us? It can be exasperating and we become emotional and clamp down even stronger on our view and discount others with differing views.
I see the same polarization in organizations. People from the regions don’t understand or relate to those in headquarters and vice verse. There is polarization across function (doctors vs. nurses, lawyers vs. marketers) and across locations, ethnicity and gender.
What can you do to relate more effectively?