How To Solve Things With Words
Business, guns, diversity could all benefit from simple talk
I had a boss who would stand amazed at what could be accomplished through simple communication. After a team meeting with a difficult client, she would say, “All we did was talk and that problem just went away.”
She went on to become Le Grand Fromage at Medtronic, which seems fitting and a happy circumstance of a good person rewarded for aggressively doing good (an atypical reward, in my experience).
Could simple communication help us hash out reasonable restrictions for assault weapons? Just people talking together about the rights we cherish, but also weighing them together in the multi-dimensional needs of a diverse culture—aloud. It is OK to become heated, but adults know also how tone it down. Our leaders have led us to bitter partisanship, which our media has been happy to reinforce, so maybe it is up to the regular people, the ruled (as it were) to point the way back to ordinary conversation. In fact, I would argue that it is the ordinary conversations that carry the most extraordinary power for permanent change.
Let’s bring our passions to discussion, and let’s also listen to understand that good point our opponent, but fellow human, wants to make. Covey’s advice to “First Understand” makes sense for today. What if we began to appreciate the very things that made us different?