by Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contribution™ Cultivator, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), originally posted on YouMeWe.ca
Are you getting consumed with social post conversations that are creating conflict? That is probably not your intention, but sometimes when we come upon a post, it is like kryptonite. We passionately take to the keyboard and pound out our opposing or supporting thoughts that escalate the issue. Immediately after, do you feel better? My guess, not so much. So, how can you add to a conversation when you are passionate about the post without poisoning a relationship?
How to promote positive conversations
July 27, 2016, during the run-up to the United States election, there was a lot of criticism and verbal spewing posted on social feeds. In Canada, we were not immune to the spray. I received a request from a Facebook friend who asked me to connect with my network and start a Canadian movement against one of the candidates. I will leave you to guess which one.
That day I made a very conscious decision only to add my voice to expand on positive dialogue, or move toward a constructive resolution. In other words, I wouldn’t start a movement against something, but instead, I would support change toward its opposing view. By focusing on the opposite spectrum, our voices consciously contribute to the conversation, inspiring positive behaviour rather than going down a rabbit hole of negativity.
YouMeWe movement promotes kindness, care, and inclusiveness. Any movement with 'anti', 'against' or 'non', is sure to focus on the behaviour you don’t want rather than the behaviours you do want. #YouMeWeMovement…
Click To Tweet
This philosophy is why the YouMeWe movement promotes kindness, care, and inclusiveness. Any movement with ‘anti’, ‘against’ or ‘non’, is sure to focus on the behaviour you don’t want rather than the behaviours you do want. For example, if you’re passionate about the threats of inequality, focus on causes that promote equality or equity. It is two sides of the same coin, one feeds, and the other depletes. One focuses on the problem, another focuses on the solution to the problem.
How to, consciously contribute to the conversation
Neuroscience suggests what we focus on gets amplified. Writing a negative response will perpetuate undesirable conversation and possibly lead to tension. Not being lured into negative banter on Facebook, or other social mediums is not always easy. It is like being taunted by the Joker. You may not be able to avoid him, so you engage, but he will come back again, and again until you end the fight.
Piling on the negative dialogue will affect your emotional well-being and possibly people’s perception of you. I know during the United States election, I learnt a lot about my ‘friends’ and realized some weren’t the friendlies I wanted to foster.
So consider what message you want to perpetuate. Is it one that embeds in the minds the very action you are trying to avoid?
Social posting strategies that focus on having your voice heard while having productive and positive outcomes. #YouMeWeMovement #MyContributionCount
Click To Tweet
Social post strategies to nurture conversation
Here are some social posting strategies to have your voice heard while focusing on productive and positive outcomes.
- Ask a thought-provoking question that can lead to a positive outcome
- Celebrate an achievement in the post
- Support – let someone know you are there for support – words of encouragement
- Share a link to information on the opposing view
- Promote possible solutions to the problem with resource link
- Add how you dealt with an experience positively
Four questions that are well-known to Rotarians as “the four-way test” – these have relevance here too:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better relationships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Avoiding negative social post is not always easy
Avoiding negative interactions on social posts is not always easy, as passion can be a tough motivator to tame. There are times when someone posts a rant that you can’t help but pile on. Or is this just me?
After avoiding all the conversations on social media about the United States election and all international and national politics, the topic that moved me to a destructive conversation was about dog waste. It’s true. A friend posted about dog owners not stooping and scooping. They went on to say how the bacteria and germs affect the ecosystem including other pets, humans, waterways and wildlife. To learn more: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Why-Pick-up-Dog-Poop-The-Dangers-of-Dog-Feces ). Although my blood was boiling, it was the comment about putting the waste in a bag then dropping the bag on the ground or throwing it in a tree that that got me steaming. I see this all the time in parks, or along paths. A force took me passionately to the keyboard to share a short rant, followed by a heavy breath out. If you are wondering, no I didn’t feel any better. A more productive approach would have been to add a link to substantiate my friend’s claims, and further educate the reader, which I have done on this blog.
What conversation will bring you to conflict?
Well, it appears what motivated me away from social media conflict and what caused me to pile back on was the same thing. People throwing s***.
As mere mortals, something or someone will anger us. If, however, we can resist and promote productive, positive conscious conversations, perhaps we will avoid confrontation and implement solutions that have a positive impact on our communities. Conflict avoided and conscious-contribution to a conversation will save the day!
These principles would also hold true in face-to-face conversations, however, it may be a little tough to attach a link, however, providing evidence is always compelling. Cautionary note: don’t use “Google says”.
No doubt, this perspective will cause an opposing view… however, I do believe in having opposing views, but for it to be constructive, someone needs to be open to hear it. On social media, we often don’t know how open people really are to your perspective.
Until next time, make your contributions count. #YouMeWeMovement #MyContributionCounts
BEFORE YOU GO… like & share this post with your friends, colleagues, and anyone who wants to live their most meaningful life. Together, WE can spread the YouMeWe mindset of consistent conscious-contributions to the community. Together we can create a positive ripple effect.
Join us for weWednesday – a short weekly video infusion of how to live your most meaningful life by consciously contributing to your community, country, and beyond. Subscribe on the right to weWednesdays to receive it in your inbox, or find out more here.
Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contributor Cultivator
Certified Speaking Professional, (CSP)
Social entrepreneur |Professional Speaker | Host | Author | Philanthropist
2017 National President: Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)
Awards: TIAW World of Difference Recipient for women economic empowering
Accreditation: Suzanne is one of 65 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) in Canada and is in the exclusive 15% of speakers who have this designation internationally.