Hard Things Pt 2

I’m still thinking about hard things and the necessity of curiosity.

When in positions of leadership, I try to avoid blaming or shaming and instead stick to assertive claiming.* Rather than “You did this wrong,” I aim for “Here’s how I feel.” The object is not to bring a person down and make them smaller in order to make them get the point. The goal is to state your own experience and articulate the ground on which you stand. You can express your truth and your perspective while simultaneously accepting that others see things differently.

Saying things like “People need to have difficult conversations” may make me sound self-righteous. And maybe I am. But I think what I’m trying to communicate (and teach myself, by the way) is that when there’s a conflict, honest curiosity is key. There can’t be any sidestepping or stifling feelings. Feelings always find a way to resurface. So conversation is necessary, but that doesn’t mean the conversation has to be confrontational. If we sit firmly in our truth (“This is how I feel”, vs. “This is what you did to me”) and remain curious about how others feel, then we can come to new and beautiful understandings.

Beauty is built by going through hard things, not stepping around them.


*This is from a conversation between Harriet Lerner and Brené Brown on the podcast Unlocking Us.

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