Dialogue vs Debate

Authentic Communications

It’s the holiday season (perhaps you’ve noticed?) with lots of events on the calendar providing us with lots of opportunities to be with “other-minded” people. Whether family, neighbors, co-workers or even circles of friends, we are more and more learning the contentiousness that conversations can become. How can we view these opportunities as a place to SHINE?

Speaking our truth amongst like-minded folks is great for validation and massaging of our ego.

Speaking our truth amid “others” can be scary. Isolating. Possibly life-threatening (or so it feels!)

Is the alternative not engaging? Walking away and not saying anything? Unfriending on social media? Getting another drink or hitting the buffet table to “deal with it” by numbing or stuffing it?

Or, possibly, responding and engaging.

Asking for clarification.

Learning where someone else stands and why they feel that way. Asking if they ever wondered if _____________ was possible? Or thought about it this way (state another view here)?

Each time I leave a racial awareness, social justice, diversity type of training or workshop I learn new techniques to continue the dialogue. Share more authentically. Listen more deeply. Broaden my views and add to my confidence.

It doesn’t mean it’s not scary. I still over-think and wonder if that post on LinkedIn has put me in a box with potential clients or friends. No one responded or engaged with me. Crickets.

Yet it was my truth. It’s my way of showing up. Sharing me and who I am in the marketplace. And, I believe it will attract the ideal clients who want to work with someone with my values as well as my experience and expertise.

Some additional ideas for Dialogue?

After exploring and agreeing that there are differences in views or beliefs, ask if there is interest in finding common ground as well.

Remember to model being a bridge-builder, one who is calmly (even if passionately) wanting to learn from the other, create a relationship and keep the door open to further dialogue.

This is a way to collaborate, come together and explore solutions and not be the “owner” of the truth. There are many paths to it. How can we walk together and find new solutions, together?

Nothing risked, nothing gained. Join me in not being a silent partner in systemic racism, sexism, classism, and all the other barriers to humanism.

© 2017 Deborah LeeAnn Morley www.DeborahLeeAnn.com
Authentic Leadership Academy & Consulting

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