In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.
One of the most courageous things to say in a "hot" conversation is "tell me more." Conflict transformation comes through putting down our ego and listening.
He was not supposed to talk to her, she was a Samaritan, and she was not supposed to talk to him, he was a Jew. He was willing to transform the stereotype rules and she listened because she felt his sincerity.
We all know that we need to listen more, but sometimes we listen to be heard, waiting for the right time to interject our version of the truth. Our minds are reeling with the clever statement or more powerful insight. Listening to understand is vulnerable. While we are open to hear we could be also be open to criticism and verbal abuse.
"Exactly when we want to turn away and change the topic, or just end the conversation, we have the opportunity for understanding."
There are boundaries in the wilderness. We shouldn't compromise our physical safety and there is a boundary where our emotional safety is at risk. But, away from those drop-offs there is space to listen, to learn and understand.
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