When dealing with someone we don’t agree with or like or trust, most of us find our position hardens: we are less interested, less curious and often more defensive and more determined. The only outcome we’ll accept is that someone wins and that should be me. We see it with public policy – think health care, aboriginal relations, even pipelines. We see it in our neighbourhoods and families as well.


When dealing with an issue that is complex and evokes passions, how deeply do you hold on to your rightness? Do you act in “convincing” mode or “understanding” mode? To pick up one thought from Kahane’s model: how much time do you spend debating (trying to prove your point), dialoguing (working to listen to what others are saying), or presencing (trying to sense what’s happening with the situation in its entirety)? What now?

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