Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The rock in your hand

Longtime readers and friends know I'm a fan of Jon Acuff. I enjoy his style of malice-free satirical humor and his ability to expose issues through poking gentle fun (mostly at himself). I learn from him every time I read his work.

This week, Jon posted a video blog (a vlog, for those who are way cooler than I) that deals with a couple of topics. The first, he calls "The #1 reason people won't listen to your ideas," and it is brilliant.

Take a look ("The #1 reason..." is from :54 to 1:51; the text is below the video):



"One of the things I've learned is that a lot of times when you share your message, when you talk to somebody about an idea, the person you're talking to has a rock in their hand. And it's a rock built of all the bad experiences they've had with your topic.

"And so for me, if we use faith as an example, it's a time where a pastor was a hypocrite, or a Christian who was a neighbor wasn't kind to you. And so you've got this rock built of all the bad experiences. And the temptation as a communicator is to pretend the rock isn't there, or to talk around it or try to shine it up. But I've found that if we're honest, if we say, 'Hey, you've got a rock in your hand, and some of the things I did as a person helped put it there; you know, I've been a hypocrite before. Can we talk about that rock, and as we talk, can I hold it? Can you put it my hand?' People are often so overwhelmed and so surprised that you'll admit that there's a rock there and take responsibility for it, that they'll give it to you to hold. And when they do, their hands are empty, and they're open, and you get to place new ideas in there."

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