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How to BraveSpace 2/3

Today we'll look at the second set, the "TALK".



2. Talk the TALK


Think before talking

Give everyone, including yourself, time to think about a response or a question before talking and ask yourself if sharing your thoughts will contribute to the conversation in a positive way. Raise your hand and wait for your turn.


Ask if you don’t understand

Vulnerability is defined as-uncertainty risk and emotional exposure. Brene Brown even states that “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, learning, accountability...” If we all give ourselves permission to be vulnerable in this space, we are making a conscious effort to create space for deeper engagement both with ourselves and with each other.


Listening to understand instead of listening to respond

Our lens is influenced by our own lived experiences. We must listen to the truth as other people experience it and acknowledge their experience as the truth. We don’t need to take on the other person’s perspective, but we must become curious about it and seek to understand what they see and why they see it that way.


Keep it professional

By being open to the possibility that our thoughts might be limited.

By not taking critique as a personal attack.

By seeing critiques as a way to expand our way of thinking.

By questioning and being open to questioning.


Elaborate, please!

In this chapter, we'll give you some extra insights for every TALK step.


Think

As humans, we’re often more emotional than we want ourselves to be. That’s why it's sometimes better to take a step back and reflect first, instead of immediately reacting out of an emotion.

  • What do you want to say?

  • Why do you want to say something?

  • Why do you experience a certain emotion and does it influence the reason and/or the way you want to say something?

Example:

There’s a discussion about a topic and someone (party A) says something ignorant. A possible reflex is you (party B) wanting to go against that person or you get frustrated with said person. Try to remain calm and think first. In a brave space we all try to learn and grow. One can assume people enter a brave space with good intentions (more about this in our next blog post). However, the thinking levels and knowledge of people can differ, which means some people have more or less knowledge about certain topics. Thus, one must try to have sympathy when someone says something ignorant, of course assuming this person’s intentions weren’t malicious or hurtful. After all, everyone presents themselves as vulnerable in a brave space. That’s why starting a conversation is important to grow and keep the conversation going. Certainly, take your time to come up with a reply/response, but don’t forget to start by sharing your feelings.

  • I felt….

  • What you just said, gave me an uncomfortable feeling

  • Etc.

Thanks to first considering these things, one can then go to the next step for both parties: ask questions.


Ask

In our previous blog post we clarified that it’s okay to not know everything. That’s why it’s important you dare to ask questions to broaden your knowledge. It might be intimidating, you might feel stupid, but in a brave space we recognize and acknowledge not everyone’s on the same wavelength. Sometimes, a bit of explanation or clarification is needed. If you ask for help or an explanation in a polite manner, chances are others would like to help you out. Use this opportunity as a learning experience and listen with an open mind to the other person.

  • What do I want to know?

  • Why do I want to know this?

  • Where does the thought process of this person come from?


Example continued, party A:

You could ask the person who said something ignorant, why they said that. Next, you can ask where they got that thought from. Where does this person get their information? Finally, it’s possible to give this person the correct information, explain a misconception and/or debunk a myth.


Example continued, party B:

A discussion happens about a certain topic and you feel you’re the cause of it. So what now?

That can happen, you unintentionally said something hurtful… A natural reaction could be to immediately defend yourself, but this wouldn’t be the perfect approach. Often, such reaction leads to an unwanted counter reaction where both parties close their doors, so to speak.


Instead, start your interaction with a question, because this is your chance to learn.

  • Could someone please explain this to me?

  • How could I’ve said this differently?

  • Could someone please give me an example?

Keep asking questions and don’t hesitate to repeat some or rephrase answers. The goal here is to understand. Do you understand the other(s)? Yes, and mainly by listening.


Listen

In a brave space you do not listen to convince someone, even less to win an argument. There are no opinions, but there are experiences. Instead of listening only for you to pick out certain parts of the conversation so you can counter them, you listen to the whole story.


Have you heard of active listening? Here are a few tips and tricks you could try:

  • Pay attention

  • Focus on the story

  • Make eye contact

  • Observe the body language of your talking partner

  • Show that you’re listening

  • Let your face express itself

  • Let the other person speak, don’t interrupt

  • Summarise and recap

And always, react appropriately.


Keep it professional

It’s not always easy to realize and acknowledge you were in the wrong or had limited knowledge. This can easily turn emotional.

Although we ask you to embrace your emotions, they can sometimes get in the way or even escalate. We’re not arrogant to lecture you on how to deal with your feelings, but we can give you a few tips:

  • Share your emotions (if you feel safe enough). Start your sentences with “I feel..”

  • If it gets too much, inform the others. Taking a break is always allowed.

  • Don’t hesitate to get outside for a few minutes. Moving around can help with your thinking process.

  • Don’t be too harsh on yourself or the other person.

  • Use pen and paper, write or draw your emotions.



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