Deep listening and conflict resolution

“If all we do is complain about what is wrong with our culture and offer no solutions, then we are a part of the problems we are complaining about.” - Tadayoshi Inoue

I have become very disenchanted with the state of affairs in politics over the last two decades. I used to feel fairly optimistic about the future of this wonderful country I was born in. But these days I am no the fence about our future these days and quite frankly embarrassed for my country at how we are all acting on the world stage. 

We seem to be struggling with some of the most basic principles of our great democracy. Some of the issues I see people getting upset over are: the personal choices of others, differences of opinions and of course the inequities of racism all seem to be on top of our list of difficult topics to agree upon, among others. 

The truth is we all don’t need to agree to get along but we seem to be less tolerant these days of anyone who may differ in opinion from us. There seems to be no real civil conversations going on in the public space. Most seem to just take a position and then call anyone who doesn’t agree with them “evil” or the “problem.” 

Actually, it is how we are trying to discuss our issues that seems to be the problem to me. There is no “deep listening” going on and there is very little empathy toward others and what they may be feeling or experiencing. Most people seem to just want to judge others if they don’t agree with them and to cast them out of the conversation. Can you see how ludicrous this is if you really want social progress and change? 

These conversation tactics will NOT work in resolving our issues in this world or our country. The most important aspect in ALL conflict resolution is listening to understand the other person’s or other group’s perspective. We all want others to understand us. In order to facilitate this strongly we must each initiate this in all our dialogues with each other. We must listen compassionately and attempt to understand why others may hold the perspectives they do. 

Once we understand each other better, even if we don’t agree, only then do we have the tools to try and meet each other on common ground. All conflict resolution is based on deeply understanding others we are in conflict with. If we refuse to do so, then no matter what the outcome we fail. 

I am love. I am joy. I am so very good. And so are each one of you! 


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About the author
Tad Inoue is an IFBB Professional League judge, Nutritionist and Professional Diet Coach for many clients and athletes worldwide. Tad has been in the bodybuilding and fitness industry for over 32 years and his clients include professional athletes, top amateur atheletes and all other competitors in figure, bikini, men and women's physique and bodybuilding, as well as individuals interested in optimal health. Tad was a National competitor in the NPC for over 30 years and now focuses his passion, knowledge and experience on helping and instructing others in fitness, wellness and athletic competition. His education includes philosophy, theology, nutrition, biochemistry as well as dietetics. He specializes in contest preparation for Figure, Bikini, men and women's Phyisque, Bodybuilding and fat loss for optimal health. Tad is also a speaker on mindfulness, motivation and joyful positive living.