Unlike some four-letter words, this one can help instead of harm in that it creates a space for open communication to occur. Let me explain. During my time as a diversity & inclusion consultant, the use of “the ouch” was a strategy our team coached others on in order to encourage dialogue through uncomfortable situations. For example, if a person is hurt, offended, or otherwise negatively impacted by a comment or action, she or he would say “ouch” in that moment. The immediacy and relative simplicity of “the ouch” can be very powerful as it opens the door for deeper dialogue around the offended person’s perspective AND feelings. And isn’t that what this world needs more of — a greater awareness and understanding of others? What strategies have you employed to get the difficult conversations started?
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