Do you have a post-election hangover? There is a good chance you do. And, there is also a good chance that you are in the office with someone who feels differently than you do about the outcome of the election. It can feel awkward to interact with that person, especially if you engaged in prior discussions around your choices.
This scenario of not seeing eye-to-eye is likely to pop up in all different scenes in your life – the office, school, church, grocery store, etc. The reality is, it is easy to point the finger. To disagree. To shut out. It is much harder to entertain an idea that competes with your own. To be curious. To be open.
Given that, I wanted to share an excerpt from Fierce’s Founder, Susan Scott in Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time:
What each of us believes to be true simply reflects our views about reality. When reality changes (and when doesn’t it?) and when we ignore competing realities, if we dig in our heels regarding a familiar or favored reality, we may fail. Perhaps what we thought was the truth is no longer the truth in today’s environment.
For example, most people believe that there are some people you just can’t talk to. That, as Satchmo said, “Some people, if they don’t know, you can’t tell them.” After we’ve experienced countless failed conversations over the years, such a belief is understandable.
I’ve observed, however, that it is also possible that the way we’ve been talking with people isn’t working. That our techniques for talking with “difficult” people haven’t worked, but other techniques can and do work, without rattling sabers or giving ultimatums. That is our beliefs about what we can say, as well as how and to whom we can say it, that are in the way, and that if we change our beliefs, productive conversations can easily occur.
Today, the day after US Election Day, I challenge you to stretch your beliefs and assumptions. Only when you dig deeper and explore where you are coming from, will you truly be able to talk openly.
And now we, as Americans, must start repairing the damage this election cycle has created. We must nurture our relationships, our expectations, our respect for each other. And we need to, one conversation at a time.
It starts with you. And your beliefs.