WPR029: How to Navigate Polarizing Conversations

Episode Summary:

The world has been a little crazy lately, hasn’t it?  I don’t typically talk about politics on this show because that’s not the main focus of what we do here.  I don’t want it to distract from the purpose on the podcast, which is to help career-oriented moms and dads integrate all aspects of their lives without having to sacrifice one area over another. 

So we’re not going to discuss politics here today.  But as someone who does pay attention to what’s happening in the world, I thought it was important to acknowledge the discourse and divisiveness that’s we’ve seen on the news and on social media recently.  Things have gotten SO heated on a global level, and I think it’s time we starting thinking a little more about how we address people who disagree with us on fundamental issues.

I see a lot of parallels between what’s been happening around the world, and what we deal with as parents on a daily basis.  There are a lot of polarizing topics coming to a head on the world stage, but I see the same sort of discourse in how we discuss parenting issues as well.  There are some hot button issues we deal with as parents, such as vaccinations, breastfeeding, sleep training, and many others.  I’ve seen more than a few discussions about these topics become hateful very quickly.

For many of these topics, there’s no one right answer.  There is plenty of research to support all sorts of opinions about how to do things.  But as a society I think we’ve gotten into this habit of thinking in binary terms where if I’m convinced of something, you’re wrong unless you completely agree with me.  We’ve lost the ability to appreciate and explore nuance as we discuss a wide range of topics. 

So today I want to dive a little deeper into HOW we talk about polarizing topics.  How do we TALK to each other in a more respectful and productive way?  How can we let go of our need to be right, and start LISTENING to each other in a way that will move these conversations forward?

Whether we’re talking about politics, or human rights issues, or race, or immigration, or whether we’re talking about any number of decisions that you’ll make as a parent, I think these guidelines for a healthier conversation will still apply.  These are just some thoughts that I wanted to share with you.  This obviously isn't a conclusive list.  And I also don't want it to sound like I do all of these things all the time.  I have my moments where I'm not as constructive as I could be.  But I did want to take a moment to think about how we could all be dealing with some of these difficult conversations a little better. 

Show Notes:  http://workingparentresource.com/29

Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:

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About the Working Parent Resource:

The Working Parent Resource is dedicated to helping ambitious working parents acquire the information, insights, and tools they need to create a more intentional and fulfilling life that reflects their deepest values and priorities.  Sarah Argenal, the host of the Working Parent Resource Podcast, has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy and Adult Development, and is a Certified Professional Coach with over 15 years of experience in counseling, coaching, teaching, course development, and project management. You can access episode Show Notes and learn more about the Working Parent Resource at http://WorkingParentResource.com.

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