Showing I value someone's contribution through respectful dialogue is one of the best things I can do for that person. Every person has their own unique approach to solving a problem and can contribute a different perspective based on their life experiences, skills and personality. Every time I hear a different perspective, whether I agree or not, is an opportunity I take to learn more about how I can find common ground and open a dialogue - even if only to have incremental movement towards a shared understanding and respect. Sometimes I may feel angry or hurt when I hear criticism about my ideas, especially if I've worked really hard to pull them together. But after I think about why I'm angry or hurt, it always comes down to feeling like the other person somehow doesn't respect the hard work, sweat and tears I've put into my ideas or project. At that point, I can choose to pivot my thinking to become more open. As long as dialogue is respectful, it's possible to appreciate different points of view without feeling hurt and angry. In order to be able to listen with respect, I need to personally know and affirm that what I say has value. Knowing that I have value allows me to come to a conversation from a place where I can understand that what others say has value as well because they have each put hard work, sweat and tears into what they believe and what they've been working upon.
And so today, on #ThankYouThursday, I want to recognize my Volunteer Coordinator, Leslie Allen - an amazing woman, with the help of her staff, who has transformed @AutismEdmonton over this past year into a thriving and #collaborative NFP organization despite #COVID19AB. She is bringing that same passion to her #volunteercoordinator role with @Gabrielle4Yeg and I am so grateful! Right now, you can reach Leslie at [email protected].