Finding My Voice – Part II

The difficult part of finding my voice is that I feel called to lovingly communicate differences (generally more than others wish I would – and I know that). 

Our current political cycle has allowed me ample opportunity to practice communicating my opinion in a respectful way to someone or some institute that I feel is potentially using their position of power to inflame emotion instead of build resolution.  I am not big into 50/50 thinking, or consensus thinking.  I am big into working on resolutions that give a place to begin the real work.  Some of the time that means I get more than I give – other times that means I give up or contribute more than I get. 
What follows is an excerpt from an email I wrote a local business leader after observing the content of Facebook comments, cartoons and jokes he posted.  I felt they left no doubt how he was voting, and I additionally felt they left no room for solution building.  I wrote this note privately and share parts of the content to give you an example how you might approach a difficult conversation. 

“Dear Person,

I wanted to take this conversation off line. I have been surprised how you have been using this political cycle to lead your XXXXXX through posts on FB. I take it from your posts, that you would not allow a non-RNC member to work for or with you. That surprised me. You know I led a successful business before.  My employee base was a very diverse group – especially during our last election when the hotels Richard and I owned were in Arizona.  I think it would be fair to say that most of our employees differed on their opinion of not only who should be President, but on how to resolve the great concerns that faced our nation in 2008.  I also think none of them felt isolated by or from us for our differences.

I saw my role as teaching them to stay in conversation long enough to hear where they shared values and to build a solution from that point. A chapter heading from a book I was reading today says it all: Walking Our Talk — What We Allow We Teach. I am deeply devoted to life success. I have vowed during this season to not work to convince others to vote as I might — but to listen with care, hear what they want fixed, and finds ways to work together to fix it. My RNC friends (to which I have many as you would expect) are amazed how calm I remain when we have coffee and discuss politics.

They know we want only great things for our country and my response allows them to see how they could be heard better (that is what they have told me). You are in an important leadership position in our community. I hope you will consider facilitating conversations aimed at solution. Wishing you continued success…”

P.S. I just took the photo on this blog.  As my Facebook page showed, I attended my first ever political rally when President Obama was in Las Vegas.  I kept wondering where to put the ticket I saved as a memento.  As I was cleaning up my bookshelf in my office this last week I found what I thought was the perfect place:  In the souvenir box from the only other political event I attended – the second inaugural of President Ronald Reagan.  Both experiences are ones I will cherish forever.  

I hope you join me in thanking the men and women who serve so that I/we can share deep differences and yet know that the most I will suffer is a hurt feeling — not be killed for what I shared.  That is true freedom.  All we are missing is a bit more courtesy. 
Thank you and may Peace be with us all, Andrea T. Goeglein, PhD
Feel the spirit of the season
About the author

Andrea Goeglein is part organizational psychologist, part entrepreneur, and all about success—your success. She understands both the pressures you face and the dreams that inspire you. Andrea merges her experience as a business owner with her training in Positive Psychology to provide effective, efficient and challenging personal development products and services. She combines an emphasis on objective assessment with an approach that is always powered by your spirit and guided by your goals. Her professional development offerings are based in theory and backed by direct business knowledge.

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