Discussion questions – 20210627s

Part 1 – Watch the 4 videos and write 1 questions for each video. ( open-ended questions ) Part 2 – Write one explanation for each question. Part 3 – Respond to these 4 questions with 50 words for each one. After listening to Adar Cohen’s talk, it reinforced thoughts in my mind that avoiding difficult conversations is not helpful to finding solutions. Over my years, I’ve had many difficult conversations. Talks that were awkward, intimidating, the kind that make you want to turn the other cheek or pretend something didn’t happen. These conversations are not fun, but as the old saying goes “pain is just weakness leaving the body.” When we have these painful conversations, the weakness in our professional relationships starts to go away. In my experience, the people may not always respect you as a person, but they will respect you as a leader. Now, I’m not perfect and I have skipped out on having conversations; I have looked the other way when things happen. Not to extend excuses, but sometimes we as humans just cannot take so many difficult things at one point without feeling like we are going to break, so when given the opportunity, we dodge what we have control over avoiding. Even though this saves us some grief in the short term, that grief isn’t really saved. All it is doing is being rescheduled to appear on your radar later down the line, and it will probably come back with a vengeance. I know this from personal experience. My question to you: what conversations have you put off/been putting off that you should really be addressing? Or to dig a bit deeper, what is one time where someone has avoiding addressing a difficult situation with you, and what implications did it have? In the TED talk, “how to lead touch conversations,” by Adar Cohen, he discusses why people tend to be scared to have tough conversations. He also gives tips on how to lead difficult conversations. So what is it that makes us so scared to have difficult conversations? Adar discusses that people do not want to have these conversations because they are scared to confront the problem because it may be a sensitive issue for some of those involved in it, or they may not want to make a situation worse. I think that the tips that Adar provides are helpful for leading or having difficult conversations. The first tips was to move towards the conflict itself. You need to confront the problem head on and not shy away from them. I tend to do this not just for tough conversations, but also tough assignments. This is also known as procrastination. If I would move toward the conflict or do my assignment right away, it would solve my problem and eliminate future stress. For the second tip, Adar says, “you don’t know anything, and if you do, pretend you don’t.” Asking questions and listening will better help those who are listening. The third and final tip was to “keep quiet.” Don’t rush into anything. A lot of people who have had tough conversations can probably say that there tend to be long awkward pauses. However, confidence can be lost in the conversation if we are “jumpy.” The topic of race can be a touchy subject at times, especially when the nation is facing a tragedy involving a person of color. In Eric Deggans TED Talk, How to Talk About Race, he states how when talking about race there are two major obstacles that we run into — “…white folks get to guilty and defensive, and black folks get too mad.” It is interesting to hear what Deggans’ take is on the subject. Deggans goes on to talk about the research done to see how different people perceive racial progress, and the difference between black people and white people’s views were clear. White people tend to look at how far we have come since slavery and segregation, while black people compare racial progress to where we should be. We as a nation could really benefit from seeing and understanding these perspectives because it might help us make more progress. It is sad to know that people of color still get treated so differently and unfairly. It can be comforting to look at just how far we have come, but it is imperative that we do not lose sight of where we need to be. No one should be treated as lesser solely based on the way they look or the color of their skin. In Eric Deggans Ted Talk he speaks about how to talk about race. In the video Deggans mentions that when ever someone brings up race its a very sensitive topic and people don’t bring it up as much as they should. He also talks about how when racism is brought up black folks will get mad and white folks will become defensive. My question is why does racism seem to only be brought up when a tragedy happens? For example when a white person shoots a black person, this is when the issue is brought up on the news and social media. Deggans also comments that when your trying to fix racial issues it will feel uncomfortable but that means you are doing it right. IMPORTANT: WRITE OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS FOR PART ONE

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