Image

10:21 AM / Sunday March 3, 2024

11 Nov 2016

The Cultural Coach: How to Help A Bigot Who Won’t Shut Up

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
November 11, 2016 Category: Commentary Posted by:
Linda Wallace

Linda Wallace

By Linda Wallace

Dear Cultural Coach:

You write often about the need for good communication skills. How do you handle a college-educated friend who has never learned how to communicate effectively? My friend is an equal-opportunity offender. He makes everyone miserable. I am tired of acting like the political correctness police. How do you deal with an educated person who thinks everyone else is the problem?

Worn down

Dear Worn Down reader:

Some people believe they have all the wisdom required for a successful life. Some of them have college degrees and others don’t. Of course, a truly educated person is one who recognizes the need for lifelong learning.

Many of the skills I rely on the most — using and fixing my laptop computer, cultural communication and citizenship support skills such as acceptance and forgiveness — are self-taught. I think that is a positive reflection on the teachers who inspired me to hold on to and develop a passion for finding truth.

It is a tall order to help a friend who believes his life would be better if only everyone else would act like him. But it is not impossible. My coaching team offers a few techniques that may help:

• When your friend makes an outrageous statement, don’t remain silent or let it go. Use an affirmative reaction policy by testing one or more of the following comments: “When you use words that hurt others, it is harder for me to listen to you.” Or, “Sometimes you use hurtful words that make it difficult for me to be around you or to understand you. I want to find the common ground so we can learn from each other, but first we need to set communication boundaries.”

• Share your communication mishaps with your friend and discuss the lessons learned. After a while, ask your friend to share his communication mishaps with you so both of you can learn and grow together.

• Provide spontaneous coaching during casual conversations with your friend. The most effective sharing occurs when stress levels and tensions are low and people feel comfortable. Yet many of us try coaching only after others’ behaviors create a backlash. This is the time we are less likely to be effective.

• Look for opportunities to point out statements by your friend that inspire respect or admiration. Your e-mail indicates that you have been trying to point out your friend’s mistakes. Seize those moments when he says things that inspire respect or offer clarity. Let him know when he is communicating effectively. Encourage his new language by saying: “Now, I get it. I understand you better now.”

• While serving as a coach, never lash out at your friend, and avoid getting personal. Focus on his behavior rather than on character defects or his personality. Instead of calling him a bigot or bully, why not say, “It is my job to help people hear your views, but I do not and will not support bigotry. I stand firm on that. If you say racist things, I must walk away. “

Shock jocks often use offensive language to boost ratings. When we support this rudeness, we invite hatred into our lives. So sometimes we have to shock others to wake them up from the fog.

In the past, when readers have written me using foul, racist language, I often have written back: “I was most distressed to receive your email and was curious what your minister/pastor/faith community would say about the language you used. If you send me their email address, I will happily share it with them so we can see if they agree with me.”

Nine times out of ten I  will get back a very cordial email filled with polite words and humble explanations. Once, I actually received the email address for the writer’s pastor. I forwarded him the email, asking for his thoughts.

No response. Well, you can’t win them all.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Philly NAACP

Philadelphia NAACP News

February 18, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia NAACP news as of Feb. 2 Philadelphia NAACP Branch News...

Color Of Money

Commentary: Carpenters Union’s apprenticeship diversity push can lead to success and job fulfilment in the construction industry

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email By Treyvon Ratcliff Hayes ABOVE PHOTO: Treyvon Ratcliff Hayes, a Philadelphia public high school graduate,...

Health

Six tips to improve sleep quality for overall well-being

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURES Despite a rising number of people searching for the term “sleep” in 2023,...

Sports

Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 2024 

February 12, 2024

Tweet Email The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly beat the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the 2024 Super Bowl champions. The...

Fur Babies Rule!

Dog grooming advice to keep pets clean and healthy

March 2, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURESRegular grooming can keep your dog looking and smelling his or her best, but...

Seniors

‘Soaring’ over hills or ‘playing’ with puppies, study finds seniors enjoy virtual reality

February 23, 2024

Tweet Email By Terry Spencerassociated press POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Retired Army Col. Farrell Patrick taught computer...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff