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  • When it comes to hard conversations, the approach needs to be anchored in humility, empathy, vulnerability and perspective-taking. Our natural tendency is to create a consensus, not ruffle feathers with a sprinkle of avoidance and fawning.
    But there are situations when we do not have the choice but to have conversations that come and challenge the very core of your being and all your narratives.

    In the current situation in the Middle East, many are left helpless, shocked, terrorized and enraged. A question I have been asked often in the past month is what can be done.
    How can we add value and have an impact?

    Truth is, we are all interconnected. Everything is interconnected. Nothing operates in silo, and Nature will always seek balance. Once we realize this, it is evident that the current actions over the last month will change the world. What it will look like is another question: how can I add value?

    Like many of my colleagues and peers, I have been making space for my friends, family and clients to listen and understand the different facets of the conflict, but also making sure they feel heard, seen and supported as much as possible. This complemented with a thorough historical deep dive was very revealing of the collective impact of this conflict. It is not a new conflict, it has been spanning over several decades.

    Like many of you, I have been making space to listen to leaders and managers, and help them to understand their level of psychological safety and comfort, so that they can add value and better support employees who may be directly and indirectly impacted by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

    While I know it’s important to challenge people sometimes, here are some tools to add to your perspective-taking conversation backpack, rooted in empathy and human dignity:

    1. When you feel the “yes But” rise up, focus on “Yes and”. This will ground and increase your emotional capacity to have “Yes and” conversations about the ongoing colonization, genocide, ethnic cleansing and murder of the people of Congo, Haiti, Palestinian and Israel. A good follow up thought would be to ask, “What don’t I know?“. Most haven’t developed the emotional agility and critical thinking needed for “Yes and” conversations, therefore keep this in mind if you choose to engage with someone. Just know that you can only go as far as they are willing to.
    2. Deepen your understanding of the topic and make sure to get sources from different media, not just what the algorithm shows you. This only creates discord, further negating compassionate spaces for communities in conflict. Instead, seek different sources and try your best to receive it with compassion. You don’t need to agree on everything to hold space to have conversations with people that are hurting but willing to engage. “We want to challenge the framing of the narrative, not the people. We haven’t developed the tools to deal with the social media we created, or even the AI-generated activities and resources we are using constantly.
    3. We have a collective responsibility towards humanity. As seen in numerous newsletters and posts, the African philosophy of Ubuntu, meaning {humanity towards others, I am because we are} meaning none of us are free until we are all free, is making its rounds and rightfully so. It really taps into the concept of collective interconnectedness. We are all in this together and part of our purpose is to have a responsibility to Ubuntu – to advance humanity and responsibility for the evolution of our consciousness. This also includes holding each other accountable for becoming complacent in front of suffering, especially suffering from vulnerable groups, such as children, elderly and women.

    While it may feel very overwhelming after over 50 days of constant death and massacres on our screen, stay informed an notice your emotional capacity. You can only show up authentically if you take care of yourself, therefore practice cyber hygiene and keep educating yourself so you can pass on a more informed version of history, a legacy that includes your story, not your silence. A legacy that includes a human-centred approach, and not a political/state-centered approach.


    “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” –

    Steve Biko

    Let’s keep continuing to pray for the safety, and safe return as we continue to call for a liberative solution in Gaza and the rest of Palestine, and a safety-centred solution for the global Jewish community. To all leaders holding conversations, remember to tend to your personal Psychological Safety backpack first in order to support your team, family and community better, with a focus centred on Humanity.

    As long as we keep our collective Humanity at the center of it all, the solutions and path towards a collective liberate peace will show itself.

    How can I support you better? Feel free to hit reply and let us know if there is a resource that you would like us to share and amplify.

    “I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe” – Nadia Theodore, Ambassador of Canada to the WTO and permanent representative of Canada to the Permanent Mission of Canada in Geneva, Switzerland.