January 15

3 Steps to Building a Bridge Between You and Others

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As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, I am reminded daily of why he fought so hard for equality and a sustainable vision for all people to live together with equality as a guiding belief. Yes, I know that we can see news reports that show we are living in tumultuous times that are not indicative of a world that is enjoying equality and peace. However, I would like to offer that we as individuals can build bridges to positively impact others with our own thoughts, beliefs and actions to make a difference on a daily basis. Let me share 3 ways to build those bridges.

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Suspend Beliefs

The maturity that is required to suspend our own personal beliefs while engaging with others can almost require super human effort. Why? Because from the time we are young, we are told to believe certain things and to act a certain way. When others do not ascribe to those same beliefs and actions it smacks up against something inside of us that causes a desire to correct or force them to change. Therefore, we can only begin to build bridges if we remain open and suspend our own beliefs first to gain common ground.

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Listen While Leading with Humility

How many times have you been in a situation that you felt the other person was flat out wrong? I know I have. However, I learned something through the years that has helped me tremendously. Humility is a great elixir for strife, anger and even pain. When you lead with humility rather than being harsh and combative, it almost immediately deescalates a situation which allows reflective conversation and ultimately some form of resolution even if all parties do not get all that they want. Lead with humility and you not only build bridges but you invite lasting change.

Build with Emotional Intelligence

Know yourself, your triggers and your own perceived shortcomings or strengths and you will work well with others. When Emotional Intelligence came on the scene, many people could relate to it, but just didn’t know what to call it at the time. Essentially (EQ) is the ability to lead yourself, lead others and demonstrate empathy towards all that you encounter. For a more academic definition, look here: Daniel Goleman
At the end of the day, in order to build bridges you are going to need to know yourself if you have any hope of engaging someone else where they are currently.

Ready to Take the Risk?

Alright, so we have looked at 3 steps to building bridges between you and others. The real question of how motivated you are to implement these steps will be the deciding factor in how strong you want your bridge to be going forward. I appreciate each of you and thanks for reading.

Point of Clarity Quote:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King

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