Conversation trumps competition.

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Conversation trumps competition. That is somewhat of a contradiction, isn't it? What I am trying to convey is the very thin line that separates a conversation that is an exchange, and a competition in the guise of a conversation. Guess which one sows peace???

At one of the open discussion groups I host here at The Optimize Center, a woman, a valued long-time member of the group, became quite impassioned with her views and slipped over that thin line between conversation and competition. It changed everything: the energy, the trust, the willingness of the group to continue to engage.

The group is strong and mature. As the leader, I suggested that there was no competition and nothing to prove, so, let's discuss the ideas and not the delivery. It all went well.

How many times does this happen in long-term relationships whether they are at home, in the community or in the workplace? Are those relationships safe havens for stepping over the line? I hope so. Even though many would think it is natural to react to the competitive delivery, I hope we can all leave room for someone's occasional slippage.

Where things have to be addressed is when competition is the usual approach. Who wants to live or work with someone who is looking at you like an adversary, or afraid you might have a differing opinion or perspective? How much stress is there in looking at others as adversaries rather than as folks to converse with in an equal way?

Something to think about, perhaps.

Sow Peace™

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
Catalyst for Communication & Collaboration
Solutions for Getting to the Heart of Communication, Conflict & Collaboration
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