By Simma Lieberman and Mercedes Martin
Do you think it’s important to talk about race or any other diversity dimension with someone who is different? Do you not know where to start? Learn to use these three tools to be more prepared.
1- Accept the uncomfortable.
As we said, during our webinar, talking about race with people who are different can feel awkward and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, too many people let these feelings stop them from engaging in conversation.
It’s ok to be uncomfortable, growth and change often is because we’re moving out of our comfort zone. In order to get comfortable with discomfort, you first need to be uncomfortable. Not acknowledging discomfort creates unspoken tension, stress and avoidance.
2- Know what you want from the conversation. Mercedes says “Do I want to start a relationship with this person, change my relationship or just create a learning moment? That will determine the depth and time spent on the conversation.
3- Look for areas of commonality to develop connection and build a foundation of trust. Simma says, “When there is connection people will listen even when they disagree. They are more invested in the conversation no matter how short or long it is.”
Want to know how to give feedback when you hear something you think is offensive or inappropriate, or how to respond when someone gives you feedback?
To receive a copy of our article. “Comfortable Conversation on Race, Giving and Getting Feedback, email Simma@SimmaLieberman.com or call 510-697-8226.
Simma Lieberman and Mercedes Martin have been facilitating dialogues across difference for over 25 years. Their clients include Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations.