Hi everybody, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. I gotta tell you, this week’s question is a toughest one I might have been asked in Mondays with Mike in a long time!

Mike, what is the best question you’ve been asked this year?

The best question I’ve been asked this year is this one. Yeah, that’s a great question.

The best question I’ve been asked this year is “Mike, how do you balance the different points of view, or beliefs that people have in a highly volatile situation?” They were asking me personally how I do that.

The reason that question was so strong for me is because I don’t have an easy answer to that question. You know, we answer these questions quickly, we take everyone seriously, but there are some questions that you could oversimplify. And when I was asked that particular question, that was by far the hardest question.

The answer to that question was:

I listen more. I try to understand more. I try to validate people’s perspectives more. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with them, I try to hear where they’re coming from.

And here’s what I want all of you to hear, this is very important. All behaviour makes sense in context. All perspectives make sense if you understand where a person is coming from. It doesn’t make all perspectives legal, moral, or even right, it just means that they all make sense if you understand the context of where that person is coming from. And many times we do not take the time to understand another person’s perspective. If we don’t take the time to do that, we invest and infuse relationships with conflict.

I’m not saying we can avoid conflict, but if we don’t learn to understand first… I think it’s Stephen Covey who said look first to understand then later to be understood, I think that’s really good counsel.

So that’s probably the toughest question I’ve had this year. I’ve had a lot of really hard questions, as you can imagine, but that’s the toughest.

I hope that’s helpful! Take care.

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