"Here's an exchange that I see often:
Proud father: "My perspective on women changed when I had a daughter."
Response: "Imagine not being able to recognize women as human beings until
you see yourself in one."
This dialogue always gives me pause. My first reaction is to dismiss the
criticism as too extreme. But there's another part of me that recognizes the
second comment stings because it's true.
Finding the truth in a painful criticism is an exercise in self-discipline.
First you have to overcome your defensive response, then you have to overcome
the reflex to reject things you don't understand. Both of these impulses are
very powerful, and they can be deployed to derail productive discussions before
they even begin.
The key to finding common ground is to explain complex perspectives in a way
that's familiar and accessible. This requires compassion, patience, and
creativity. Most of all, you have to be steadfast because even when you make
progress, it's tempting to slip back into old habits."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics