The Holidays are coming! This weekend I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women about how to combat communication problems that may arise when all the people, with all different opinions, thoughts, and presumptions enter the same room together.
You know what I'm saying, the times when you are in the same room with Uncle Anthony Atheist, Aunt Alice Activist with her new boyfriend Socialist Sam who sits at Traditional Tom’s table with Political Patti, Stir the Pot Suzy & Pope Paul.
These times can be challenging for all of us; but there is hope.
What if we approached these opportunities with the goal of listening with curiosity?
When we are curious, no one gets furious!
To be curious means to be "eager to know or learn something".
This requires humility, because it forces us to admit that we really don't have all the information, all the answers, all the motives behind the decisions, or all the solutions.
It forces us to listen and learn without judgment; to hear different perspectives than we have, and to show respect for those differences.
It requires us to compromise and find common ground, even if we don't agree.
It requires a touch of emotional intelligence, as we manage our emotions, when people disagree with things we may be passionate about.
We must remember most times it is not a personal attack.
It requires us pausing and saying, hey, what might I be missing here? (remember, 98% of our thoughts are always the same; see the post on Nov.6th to refresh your memory)
Mostly, it requires listening carefully and fully like this fox.