Once again we are faced with hot topics coming to the surface in the news, social media, and personal interactions. We are experiencing discord, conflict, and “taking sides” in ways that have been emphasized greatly due to the amount of exposure we have to information. We are constantly being inundated with articles, blogs, vlogs, and people’s opinions at a high rate of speed.
We see something we disagree with and instantly we are ready to react to the information with vigor and passion.
We see something we agree with and are ready to dive in head first in order to support such a stance and help it gain ground.
This is the world we live in. Information overload. Whether its correct/true information, or information that has been enhanced one way or another. It is constant. It is overwhelming. It is exhausting. It has a real effect on daily life.
How do we continue on in these difficult conversations that continue to happen daily?
- Stop assuming and start asking questions
* Just because someone has a certain belief about one topic does not mean it will match the same belief for another. Avoid grouping people together with an assumption that everyone believes one way or another. Avoid speaking for a group by saying “Well, we all think…” because chances are you all don’t unless it’s already been openly discussed by each person.
- Provide a safe conversation space
* With information comes great responsibility. Create a space where people can share opinions and be engaged in those opinions rather than be attacked. Find a way to practice active listening (which means you are listening to understand, not to respond/react). A space where differing opinions are welcomed and respected. How do you create such a space? By being a person who intentionally practices positive communication techniques in order to use conflict as a proponent for change and growth, not discord and destruction.
- Take care of yourself
* It’s important to know when it’s time to disengage and take a rest. One person can only do so much and be engaged in such a way for such a period of time. Know when it is time to go off of social media, take a break from the news, or take a few days away from someone who is persistent in engaging you in exhausting differing opinion pieces.
Take time to be alone. Take time to be with family. Take time to sit among friends with a hot cup of coffee without heated debate. Take time to sit outside and listen carefully to the sounds around you and view fall scenery as it appears.
If we are going to live in a world that is encountering conflict at such a high rate, we might as well do it justice! We are in it together. We might as well address it together.
Can we be those who sit together and engage one another where we are at? Can we be people who respect conflict and also a way to have it be constructive? It’s up to us and how we are going to look at all these things:
Opportunities for change and growth or opportunities for discord and destruction.
One thought on “Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot”
Great, practical ideas to apply in our lives — both professionally and personally! This reminds me of a mantra that one of my facilitation instructors used many moons ago: “Go slow to go fast.” I am still learning it. 🙂