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Dare to Disagree to Enhance your Communication Skills

Radical honesty has been on my mind this week.

When we step back and take an inventory, what can we see more clearly about 'what aren't we saying? Where aren't we challenging? Why aren't we questioning? What aren't we looking at internally?' It's not to say that we need to say everything that we're thinking and feeling outloud, but to have the healthy distance from our thoughts and feelings to see them and consciously choose is a worthy practice.

In this talk, Magaret Heffernan talks about (1) openness being a necessary beginning step, (2) seeing conflict as a method of thinking, and (3) working to get really good at conflict as another worthwhile practice. I would further the idea of seeing conflict as thinking to seeing conflict as a tool to hone in your communication toolkit. And again, there is always choice as to whether or not you want to "go there." Being ready for what comes back at you when you do is a part of the thinking process.

The general rule for the psychology of groups is that if you are thinking it, many others are as well. Work your edges, try a new technique by asking the question you might otherwise convince yourself you shouldn't ask outloud. Breaking the silence - yours and the groups - is usually a key step to shift dynamics and stuckness in the right direction.

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