I had quite the challenging week of dealing with troubling adult behaviors and heightened emotions on many levels. Political mudslinging, contentious school-board meetings, congregational concerns, overwhelmed teachers and parents – everywhere I traveled, there seemed to be anger, hostility and conflict.
In talking with people about difficult issues being faced in our communities, everyone has the same question: “How do we move forward?” The bottom line is that it’s not easy – but when trying to work through challenges with others I offer three recommendations:
- Direct Communication – Talking with and to people, rather than at or about them
- Understanding – Coming from a place of empathy, rather than one of judgement
- Connection – Looking for common ground on which to focus
It’s also important to remember that the only behaviors over which we have control are our own. Accordingly, I find myself continuously asking the same question: “Are my words and actions serving to bring us together to work through concerns in a healthy way, or further dividing us by highlighting our differences?” Be it in posts or passing comments, I hope you will join me in my ongoing attempt to do the former.