Depolarization vs. Polarization; Let’s Talk About It

I’ve been having conversations to expand #depolarization. I’ve been actively seeking out these conversations because I’m a white woman with a fairly liberal background, living in Western North Carolina, and I  work with clients who often have different views than I around inclusion, equity and politics. 

What depolarizing means for me is that instead of avoiding hot topics (which I had been studiously doing for the last five years or so) I am inviting them. Obviously not when I’m establishing an initial relationship with a new client or new friend or business acquaintance– but I won’t be turning away from them anymore. The simplicity of depolarization techniques is to keep talking about these topics. Ideally, I can desensitize myself through comfortable, non-judgmental conversations with similar, different and vastly different viewpoints. By practicing this skill (and I think it is a skill), I then contribute to creating an environment that turns down the heat around “hot” topics. I believe that if there were no hot topics we might have a lot more peace in the world by and large. I believe that if I think there is a “right” way to address issues it is the antithesis of positive change.

As for me in my little nook on the planet, I am not trying to change how others see the world– rather, find a way to see more possibilities around every issue. If I am more aware of others’ frame of reference and how they see the world, I offer myself and others room to make some adjustments in their approach to potentially divisive issues. 

I hope this practice will change how I show up in the world.  I don’t have any data yet to determine if my project is yielding long-term results. I do know that how I was doing things was not working and really was just frustrating and upsetting me. So, I choose to do something different. If you would like to have more support in practicing depolarization in your personal or work relationships, I am happy to share some concrete steps to support your practice to expand inclusion and equity into your life.  What are your thoughts around depolarization? Tell me in the comments. #change #leadership #inclusion

Published by Marlowe J. Weingart

I've been working and growing community at work for nearly 25 years. In fact, I'm an expert at it! By advancing employee engagement in every work community, we fight burnout and turnover. Folks stay, grow collaboratively and become invested in growing the bottom line as a team... and bringing happiness back to work!

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