No, this question of “So What?” is not meant as off-hand or sarcastic. The question is actually legitimate and one that’s intended to be thought-provoking when we engage with others.
- Do you find yourself getting into power-struggles?
- Do you try to convince others of your way of thinking?
- Do you find yourself trying to prove who is right, rather than considering what is right?
- When someone challenges you, do you feel the immediate need to defend yourself?
If you find yourself in those or other similar situations, what would happen if you asked the question, “So What?”
- So What if their opinion differs from yours? Where can you find commonality?
- So What if they have that feeling of being right? Acknowledge where they are right and it might set the stage to bridge misunderstanding.
- So What if they challenge you? Take a moment compose yourself and your thoughts before you respond.
- So What if they want to get into a back and forth with you? How do you want to spend your energy and focus with the conversation?
When having a difficult interaction, take a moment and ask yourself, “So What?” If what’s happening isn’t a significant safety issue or causing an imminent risk, perhaps letting them have their moment and then engaging with discussion can have a different outcome. Give it a try!
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