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