There will be times in your life where you will have to bite the bullet and more forward.
Now is one of them.
My initial reaction to the US Presidential election result was raw. I went through shock, denial, defense. I was grieving. I was villainizing.
When this initial wave subsided, I reached out to a leader in my field to help make sense of this polarized outcome.
Dianne Hofner Saphiere has been active in the field of intercultural training and consulting since 1979, working with people from over 130 nations and living on three continents. Her client list includes leaders across industries, study abroad organizations and universities worldwide. Dianne created the Cultural Detective®, a dynamic system of intercultural effectiveness tools.
In this interview we grapple with three questions:
- How can an intercultural perspective help us understand this polarization?
- Where are the limitations, if any, of this perspective?
- What can you do as you head home for the holidays if you are afraid of the conversations that come up around dinner table?
In the interview, Dianne emphasizes listening as the first step to true dialogue,
“The US American elections were distressing to one side and vindicating to the other. At times it seems our entire world is polarized, with all sides upset and righteous. Polarization gets us nowhere quickly. Its antidote is dialogue. We must do our best to reach out and understand those who don’t feel heard. It is only through understanding one another’s truths and building on them that we will transform our societies towards justice and equity.” —Dianne Hofner Saphiere, Cultural Detective
Now is the time to bite the bullet and more forward.
Dialogue is uncomfortable. And dialogue is not about winning. It is about listening for what this all means. For you. For your relationships. For society.
Any one of us who was not uncomfortable before, needs to start getting uncomfortable. That is the only way to create change.
“… I will talk to you all day. Because I think honestly, the only way forward is through. And the way through is that (…) people like you and I like actually have conversations. As much as I think that you’re dead wrong and as much as you think that I’m dead wrong (…) the fact that we’re having the conversation is probably the best benefit that could come out of both sides of it.”
Just like with any life change, “The only way forward is through.”
You can´t escape the tough parts.
Avoiding the tough stuff leads to stagnation or even paralysis. (tweet that!)
This is equally true if you are overworked, adapting to a country you didn´t want to move to, or are starting a new business.
In order to move forward successfully, we have to bite the bullet.
So regardless of the changes you would like to see in your life or in your community, get uncomfortable.
Listen deeply. Speak up with integrity. Take action rooted in a sense of purpose. Move forward.
Here is to a spirit of change.
p.s. Dianne invites you to join her and the team at Cultural Detective in this empowering webinar titled “What in the World Just Happened?” Using cultural analysis tools to explore responses to polarizing issues in society, such as Brexit, the US Elections and the refugee crisis, you will walk away with ideas on how to engage in making a positive difference so that 2017 brings us to a more constructive, just and equitable place in the world. Register here: https://culturaldetective.eventbrite.com