Quite coincidentally, I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. We all know there had been plenty of unrest and tumult in our society prior to those events. But those minutes, captured on video, prompted a convulsion that brought so many issues to the surface.
I happened to be running a series of virtual leadership roundtables as the civil unrest spread last summer. What struck me most was how complex the issues are. How baffled many of us were on exactly what to do.
A year later, what hits me is how important it was – and is – that we learn to listen. The challenges facing our communities are complicated and multi-faceted. People have been hurt in ways we don’t always understand. Feelings and opinions are strong.
It’s a perfect time to learn to listen. To slow down. To pay attention. To notice and avoid whenever possible the little brain hijacks that make it hard for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
Listening won’t solve all of the problems surfaced by what happened in Minneapolis last year. We’ll have to take action as well. But we won’t solve anything until we learn to listen.