This discussion will happen LIVE at our TRM Facebook Group on Friday, January 19 from 7:00p-9:00p EST and again on Thursday, January 25 from 11:30a-1:30p! Hope to “see” you there!
Introduction: Assuming positive intent can be tricky, especially when operating in a space that is perceived as “hostile” or “unsafe”. Often, we approach these situations with suspicion. When there is a lack of trust, or when we do not assume positive intent, we may have feelings of being threatened or criticized both on a personal and professional level.
Why do we lose our way at times?
*We do want to have accurate beliefs. We do not want to be wrong.
*We tend towards confirmatory bias. We seek people and resources that agree with what we believe. The end result is being less skilled in dealing with our reactions to people or resources that counter our beliefs.
*We are trying to do something big which means the stakes are high for us. We may feel that people are trampling on our beliefs.
*We feel like we are intellectually under siege. Conversations can move quickly and our words may be misinterpreted.
So, how do we work towards a lense of “positive intent”? First, it means that we need to be willing to pause and view the situation/information from a different lense. Second, it means we have to take a “leap of faith” and believe that there is no hidden agenda and that the person behind the content or situation is there to try to help or learn.
To further support and extend the concepts for assuming positive intent in our live discussion, please review these resources:
Listen: https://www.npr.org/2017/10/17/560195583/celeste-headlee-how-can-we-have-civil-conversations-with-the-other-side (transcript available)