The Power of Constructive Conversations
We should be able to share our opinions without Harm.
Opinions have an impact on our lives, and our business lives.
They shape our beliefs, guide our actions, and influence our relationships. In a space where I bring lots of people together, I am listening to more and more opinions and having more and more open, real and raw conversations, and I love it. I’m learning so much, appreciating our differences and seeing where my own downfalls may lie.
However, opinions can also be dangerous, they can cause harm especially when they are used inconsiderately or without any thought for people’s feelings.
We are living in times with new diverse perspectives and we are all a lot closer to hearing peoples thoughts in this online world, so it is so important to know about the potential harm that opinions can inflict, and also knowing the positive impact our thoughtful, genuine conversations can have.
We will always encounter strong opinions that clash with our own. Or maybe you’re like me and don’t really feel you have huge strong opinions, so you find at times you’re caught up in the middle, listening, and acknowledging the opinions on both sides. It doesn’t mean I agree wholeheartedly with either person, and I also don’t disagree fully enough, but I will respect the people I’m talking to and not let it cause conflict.
Sometimes, having conversations with those who hold different views can be scary. I think I have always hidden from anything which makes me uncomfortable, because I just don’t like confrontation. However, I’m not going to do that anymore, I need to make sure that I am not scared to share my own opinions, and as a leader of an amazing community, I need to make sure all of my clients are comfortable enough to have these conversations and share there’s as well without any negative outcome.
We all have this opportunity for growth and understanding, and by surrounding ourselves with the right people, those willing to engage in genuine conversations and listen to diverse thoughts, can be so powerful, especially to opening our perspectives and challenging any preconceived notions we may have.
The beauty of these constructive conversations lies in the willingness to listen and consider alternative views.
By listening and respectfully having these conversations with different opinions, we open ourselves up to new ideas, experiences, and knowledge.
These conversations can be transforming, which will help your personal and business growth and it will also lead you to have greater empathy for others. We have all lived different lives and it’s important that we listen and learn about others lived experiences, which we will never understand personally.
However, there is an important distinction between expressing an opinion and being bloody rude or disrespectful. These people are not welcome in my world!
These conversations will help to create an environment where ideas, and thoughts can be shared freely, but they also require a level of mutual respect and empathy.
We must recognise that opinions, can be harmful if they are used offensively or with hurtful remarks.
True opinions come from our personal beliefs and experiences, but they should not be used to belittle others, or make anyone triggered and uncomfortable.
It is so important to be mindful of the impact our words can have on individuals, especially when discussing sensitive topics. Being aware of the line between expressing an opinion and being rude helps us when we’re creating healthy, inclusive, and respectful conversations.
With social media and online interactions, it is more important than ever to have understanding and respect for others.
By choosing who we are around, and actively seeking out conversations that challenge our perspectives, we can create spaces where diverse opinions can exist without causing any harm.
We can empower ourselves and others to grow, learn, and work towards a more inclusive society.
This is something I am proud to say I’m working on a lot more now, but also not so proud that it’s something I haven’t faced proactively so far, maybe due to fears. I never want to be that person that uses someone from a marginalised group as a token of showing inclusion. This fear has then stopped me showing my thoughts and what I am really trying to do, which from the outside, may look like I’m doing nothing. I am.
Someone made a comment to me a few days ago, when I was talking about my concerns, about how all the images I have from recent events show all white woman, and how that looks from the outside looking in. I was asking what things I can to do to work on this, and how I share the message that all people from all backgrounds, and groups are welcome.
The comment was “very white middle class”. I felt sick, angry and I instantly wanted to defend myself with my council house upbringing, having a dad in prison as a child, and that I’ve worked bloody hard all my life. But what would that have achieved? It was her opinion, and she wasn’t wrong in what she feels she sees. I also know there was no malice in it. However, it’s not what I asked in that moment, it wasn’t necessary and there was no thought in her making that quick passing opinion, and it instantly triggered me.
So it’s important that some opinions are shared in the right way, in a conversation, with a meaningful reason behind the opinion, especially if it’s an opinion about the person you’re speaking to. Do it from a place of trying to support not attack, and then the conversations are safe and genuine and can lead to great outcomes.