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The Middle Way

Updated: Nov 28, 2023


I’ve never been comfortable splitting the world in half. If you asked me about one or the other, I might talk about the space between. For me, thinking and living holistically is placing value on interconnectedness. Meaning the point of view, person, or overall context only becomes knowable by its relation to the whole. Our hyper-partisan environment reinforces dualistic thinking, and it’s a challenge to remain present, composed, and engaged.

Instead of strengthening your defenses, here are ideas for communicating and connecting respectfully: Check-In - before you attempt to stay engaged and unattached to outcome, check-in on how you’re feeling. If you’re underresourced (lack of sleep, water, pressed for time), you may not have the resources to navigate this conversation. If the topic is a trigger point, being fully resourced will allow you to stay grounded. Ask yourself, “can I be fully present”? If the answer is no, have the conversation at a different time. Detach - to be fully present, put a pause on any preconceptions, beliefs, or ideas about the person or the conversation. Get Curious - ask questions to stay open and be present. The primary goal of the conversation is to understand the other person’s perspective, not to change an opinion. With curious intent, you’re asking clarifying questions such as “Why do you think that?” or “Why do you think that is?” Cultivate Awareness - once you’ve asked questions and acknowledged the other person’s point of view, you might offer additional information. If she/he is open to hearing your perspective, share. Keep in mind that the objective is to cultivate awareness rather than changing opinion. Close Respectfully - Thank the person for sharing.

Take a step. Invest in 1:1 Coaching.

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