Leaders Listen: Crossing the Political Divide

My article on Inc.com yesterday, “Leaders Listen: Crossing the Political Divide,” followed up my recent post, “If You Voted for Trump, Let’s Meet,” which I recommend reading first. It sets up contacting people who supported Trump, a group barely represented around lower Manhattan, especially at NYU, where I teach. Yesterday’s post began:

Leaders Listen: Crossing the Political Divide

What happened when I spoke to people on the opposite pole of everyone around me.

Manhattan voted nearly 9:1 for Hillary Clinton–lower Manhattan, where I live and work, probably more so. New York University, where I teach leadership, entrepreneurship, and sales, probably yet more still.

Wednesday after the election, the neighborhood was eerily quiet, like someone had died. Soon after, students demonstrated, chanting, “Not my president.”

To this day, mentioning Donald Trump’s name in conversation around here tends to lead to words like “narcissist,” “misogynist,” “racist,” “sexist,” and phrases like “they voted against their own interests… why would they do that?”

This last phrase is asked rhetorically. I’ve never heard someone ask to hear an answer that would enlighten them to motivations of people they disagree with.

Leaders listen: it’s hard to influence if you don’t understand

Teaching fields based in influence, persuasion, and motivation, I teach the importance of understanding others if you want to influence them. Understanding comes from listening.

Read the rest at Leaders Listen: Crossing the Political Divide.

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