How is your weekend? We are so grateful for your willingness to develop new advocacy skills, including this very hard one of LISTENING.
Did you know that different cultures, ages, and genders have different ways of expressing themselves?
What is your way of expressing yourself?
How do you want to be heard when you do?
How do you listen to someone who expresses herself in a way very different than you were taught?
Do you listen with curiosity?
Do you judge?
Do you back away?
Do you lean in?
Do you shut down the conversation?
Do you make the conversation about you?
Do you make it about data and logic instead of emotion?
Do you center yourself as the expert above the other?
Do you get in a power struggle of right or wrong?
None of us is perfect at listening but being an advocate takes some serious commitment to listen to differences in all its forms including differences in HOW we express, not just WHAT we express.
Sometimes we need to hear complaining, anger, and grief with empathy as part of our advocacy. Empathy heals. Listening heals. A healed heart is a creative and productive and solutions-oriented heart.