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Jim Wynne
Arrow Santos

By Jim Wynne and Arrow Santos

Difficult conversations can be, well, difficult, and yet it seems we are having them more often. Lately, it even feels as if, we exclusively have unpleasant interactions. It’s not just online, but actual in-person encounters that quickly turn nasty.

It seems everyone is wearing a shirt, hat, mask, or bumper sticker specifically intended to provoke a response from “the others.” This aggressive approach never changes anyone’s mind and only successfully radicalizes people deeper into their dug-in mental trenches.

And, to be honest, we are not even trying to change minds.

Truthfully, we are lashing out at a world we perceive to be unfair and out of order, and we want to hit back in any way we can, because clearly this is all your fault, and if you would just use your stupid, tiny, cobweb-covered brain and try picking up your knuckles while walking around breathing through your mouth with your maladroit generational wealth that you don’t even realize most people don’t also have—and which makes you think your biggest problem is having to pay for maintenance and find parking for your four-vehicle household—then maybe we could actually have a country that still functions in a way I feel fairly acknowledges my tax contribution and white-collar hard work (because this ocean view doesn’t pay for itself) and very important personal national agenda and ideals for earning more money and raising a family to secure my future legacy when I am worm food and no one cares or remember any of this in 50 years because we’re all dead.

Wait, what am I supposed to be writing about again?

Oh, yes, I remember now. The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce is excited to sponsor the upcoming “Difficult Conversations Workshop: The Art and Science of Working Together” on Sept. 10. Facilitated by author and nonprofit founder Kern Beare, this workshop will cover:

  • Why difficult conversations often trigger our fight/flight survival drive, and how that shuts down our brain’s ability to listen, be present and take in new information.
  • Why trust is essential when navigating a difficult conversation, and how we can quickly establish trust even with someone we don’t know well.
  • How our personal story can get in the way of clear communication, and how to look “beyond” our story to access our innate capacity for connection, creativity and collaboration.
  • How understanding the “three dimensions” of difficult conversations can help us move more quickly from conflict to resolution.
  • How to find love deep in your soul for those unavoidable special idiots in your life. (Just kidding, I made this last one up.)

San Clemente Chamber of Commerce board member and local business owner Tyler Boden shared, “This workshop dives into the science behind what’s happening in our brains during conversations with those we disagree with, and challenges us to think more critically about our perspective. This is a must-attend for anyone who engages in discourse at any level.”

Not only will this event transform your approach to daily life by changing your heart and mind, but you’ll also get to enjoy excellent local catering from ZebraHouse Coffee for breakfast, lunch, and coffee during this all-day workshop. Sign up online for only $25 at scchamber.com/special-events/.

Seats are expected to sell out, so register as soon as possible, because we could all use you learning how to think correctly, finally. (Hey, man, I haven’t gone to the workshop yet; just sign up, alright?!)

Jim Wynne, president of WynneCRE, is a San Clemente local, San Onofre Surfing Club president, and father of five, who serves as the immediate past chairman for the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. Arrow Santos is a San Clemente native, professional writer/photographer and marketing director of WynneCRE.

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