We’re getting into the brain science behind our beliefs and opinions, and why they’re so hard to change. Most of us are unapologetically opinionated, yet beliefs and opinions are fallible! In this episode, you’ll discover what happens when our beliefs and opinions are threatened, why it feels uncomfortable, and how we can be better communicators and leaders who actively include diverse viewpoints.
How opinions work and how to talk about them
We all have strong beliefs and opinions, and it’s inevitable that there will be people who disagree — in our families, workplaces, and the world at large. When that happens, it’s tempting to try to convince other people that you’re right, and they’re wrong. Spoiler alert: this doesn’t work! The fact is, most of us feel uncomfortable or even threatened by different opinions.
To communicate effectively across different opinions, Lisa shares the tenet you must take from mediation and diversity and inclusion practices. Otherwise, you risk denying a person’s reality and experience. Making it a habit to deeply listen, without judgment, to others’ opinions will make you a remarkable leader and communicator.
Do you know how to step away?
Part of being such a leader and communicator is knowing when to step away. Have you ever argued with your partner, and 24 hours later apologized and acknowledged their perspective? Stacey shares the story of arguing with her daughter over feelings about an accepted fact, and what Stacey learned about stepping away from that disagreement.
The truth is that human beings are pretty pliable when we feel safe, heard, and seen. Lisa shares a tool and insights from Crucial Conversations to help you mediate your knee-jerk reaction to opinionated conflict.
The humbling truth
Fascinating findings by the American Psychological Association show that opinions not based on facts are more common than we think — in fact, we all have them. It’s not a matter of “stupid people vs intelligent people” but a human condition. And, we all fall prey to confirmation bias and the availability heuristic. Listen to the episode to hear Stacey and Lisa’s advice for how to take responsibility for fact-checking your opinions.
How to manage different opinions in the workplace
To thrive and be effective in our world, it’s critical that we polish the tools that help us better understand and respect each other. A fundamental tool is patience, followed by clear communication. It’s critical, whether you’re a manager or team member or company leader, to make listening and discussion a priority. Stacey and Lisa share practical tips for how you can work both into your meetings, and how to communicate about them with relationship-saving clarity.
Click play above to discover how to distinguish beliefs and opinions from facts, and how to communicate across differences effectively. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Have you had your opinions challenged at work or at home? Have you had an experience of deep listening and forming a new opinion? We would love to hear your stories. Leave us a comment below, or reach out to us on social media.
- A USC study found that people are more likely to adjust non-political beliefs than political ones.
- Discover Crucial Conversations, powerful tools for having high-stakes conversations.
- The humbling truth of why we believe “alternate” facts, from the American Psychological Association.
- To learn more about Stacey, visit ReworkWork. Connect with Stacey on LinkedIn and Twitter
- To learn more about Lisa, visit Story Happens Here. Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn and Twitter