05.03.19 / Female Leaders And The Lesson Of Disagreeing Productively

We’ve all heard the saying: “There’s always two sides to every story”, but the thing is, that’s not entirely true. Stories have many sides, many different points of view, many competing ideas as the world is – thankfully – a very eclectic place.

Within the professional domain, divergent ideas, contrasting beliefs, diverse backgrounds and clashing personalities can be tough to navigate. The ability to see someone else’s point of view in an attempt to experience their feelings – the very overused, yet undeniably vital “empathy” – is key for anyone who wants to create meaningful relationships. If you have to work with someone, listening to one another is crucial for the relationship to be productive.

In a historically male-dominated society, up until not so long ago, being a woman in business used to be in itself an act of disagreement: “You tell me I can’t be here, and yet here I am”. Therefore, being a woman in business was and it still is a tremendous act of empathy: “I need you to do well, so I can, too, do well”. When you’ve been through discrimination of any sort, chances are you will not do the same to another person. Empathy and inclusion walk hand-in-hand.

In the spirit of resilient women showing the way for more inclusive, diverse, accepting, and plural work environments everywhere, here are four talks that will inspire you to see the beauty – and the value – in opposing ideas.

Julia Dhar: How to disagree productively and find common ground

Ozlem Cekic: Why I have coffee with people who send me hate mail

Elif Shafak: The revolutionary power of diverse thought

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story

Source: schoolofdesignthinking.echos.cc

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