Welcome back Campers! It has been a long time since I have written a blog. So many things have happened that is was difficult to address our most current communication challenges in a way that was constructive to everyone.
Instead of ranting about today’s most current political events and new culture adaptations, let us have a conversation about how we can address these items in a way that should create an inclusive environment and provide an education for everyone. At the end of the day that is what our various communication styles should be doing. We should be creating a narrative and educating each other.
Someone we can all learn from is one of my favorite Greek Philosophers Socrates. His approach to creating moral and ethical conversations while educating his listeners was to ask questions.
Without giving a formal lesson, I can briefly tell you he is the father of Western Philosophy and he was credited for being a moral and ethical philosopher. Socrates was the mentor to other famous philosophers such as Plato.
Although Socrates has no publications to his credit, his legacy and way of finding the truth is still the most effective. (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/socrates/)
One thing we can learn from the Socratic method is the process of asking questions to truly understand another person’s thought pattern. We do not all agree as humans and some of us will never be on the same page, however we can take the steps to understand each other.
Socrates was never afraid to ask about the train of thought of someone he was communicating with. This method allows a listener to understand the train of thought before giving an abrupt statement that would add no value to the conversation.
A perfect example during these contentious times is a question everyone can ask “why do you feel this way?” You can apply this to any conversation that you do not necessarily agree with and may have a wildly passionate opposition to. You can follow that up with “Tell me more about that statement” if you still have not gained an understanding of why they have this opinion. At the end of the day there is no right and wrong there is just the understanding and opinion of everyone (which everyone is entitled to)
As humans and Americans, we never have to have the same ideals and opinions. We can however make every attempt to understand the other side. Some opinions are based on personal experience, previous knowledge, foundational familial upbringings, and sometimes just a clear lack of knowledge.
At the end of a conversation if you still are not in agreement that is fine. You can always end the conversation with “I can understand your view. We don’t have to agree.” Then change the conversation to something you do agree with. Lighter conversations like the weather, deserts, personal adventures, anything else. Just maintain civility.
Stay tuned to continue the conversation. If you have feedback you can message me on the blog, or send me an email at Communicationscamp1@gmail.com. Join the conversation.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor