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October 17, 2017

Passionate Disagreement

“It is only through dialogue, deep listening, and passionate disagreement that we find our way to something larger than a singular and isolated point of view.”
(Henry Kimsey-House)


This whole week we’re looking at learning to disagree well. Here’s one  thought: One of the misunderstandings about conflict is that in order for it be productive, it needs to devoid of passionate dialogue. Coincidentally, this has been a misunderstanding of what being “screamfree” is all about.


If we needed to be passionless in order to engage in productive conflict, we probably wouldn’t engage in conflict. The main reason we have conflict at all is because we care! We care deeply about what’s best for our families, for our companies, and for our society, and that’s why we’re willing to debate in the first place.


Instead of deadening our passions in order to disagree well, let’s learn to employ those passions instead. Both reason and emotion are fantastic servants, but terrible masters. This is why we need to listen to our passions, and even let them be known in authentic ways.


But let us never forget that our tone is our message. It is easy to let our passions for love and truth and justice come out in loud, demanding ways, but doing so runs the risk of communicating a passion for something else: our need to be vindicated and validated.


Only when we grow in validating ourselves, which means lessening the need to have anyone else pronounce our validity, can we truly be passionate about the issue at hand.


So, be passionate in your opinion; but know that we can tell if you’re more passionate about yourself than you are about anything else.


Peace begins with pause,



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