We live in a world that is increasingly polarized and politically frozen. It seems harder than ever for us to relate to, to understand and get to know those who vote differently than we do. And the stakes for our planet, our nations and our local communities could not be higher.
We know that being able to speak with and work effectively with those who hold differing ideas is part of our survival as a species. But this kind of communication and collaboration is far from easy. How can we get ourselves into a useful conversational posture where we can truly listen to another person who may have different values and views from ours?
Come explore a new level of awareness and a few practical ideas on how we can free ourselves from some of the patterns that keep us frozen in our roles and can begin to thaw the icy divisions between us.
Tom Esch is president of Esch Consulting, LLC, a business that helps people access authentic power and turn their differences into bridges. He and his wife Kristen are members of Unity Unitarian in St. Paul. He has a degree in Art and Speech Communication from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, and a degree in Theology from the university of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. He also has a masters in Conflict Facilitation and Organizational Change from the Process Work Institute in Portland, OR. Tom worked for three years as Coordinator of Social Justice at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis and was part of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Social Justice Empowerment Weekend program for over 13 years.