“Everyone wants to be heard and no one wants to listen.”
My friend and colleague has said this for years. He’s right. Let’s face it, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that there is a thought planted firmly in our minds:
“I’m right. You are wrong. You need to listen to me. I know. You don’t.”
Do you ever find yourself completely exasperated trying to convince someone about your point of view?
Do you ever look at what is happening in your home, your community, your town or city, your country and think: Why the hell are you people doing this? Can’t you see that’s not the way?! Why won’t you listen to me?
Do you ever feel dejected? Hopeless? Do you ever feel like giving up because no one will listen?
What if, instead, you lead by example?
I’ve been told so many times that conflict resolution is a hippie ideal and that if it worked we would see peace right now. I’m easily dismissed.
I don’t bother trying to prove otherwise. Instead I do the work.
The results are amazing:
- American Jews and Palestinians developing genuine empathy for each other.
- A community organization’s staff recognizing how they haven’t really been listening to the immigrants they are trying to support and then taking actions to do just that. The newcomers start to feel heard!
- An improvement in the relationship between a manager and employees because of conflict resolution skills implemented. The employees feel acknowledged and valued. The employer gets work done more effectively done by staff than previously.
- Family members who have hurt each other emotionally are able to recognize the pain they have inflicted, apologize, forgive and heal.
I’m not going to try to convince anyone. Neither should you. Let the result of your actions speak for themselves.
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