HIT Piece: 10.11.2016 -“For” You, or “To” You

The government (and the corporations that consort with it through lobbying efforts) can’t provide every service, fulfill every need, and relieve every want for every individual.

The government (and the corporations that consort with it through lobbying efforts) can be hampered from taking away rights and encouraging responsibility, from individuals.

One perspective is known as “positive rights” and the other perspective is known as “negative rights.”

In online interactions with corporations that are coalescing and acting like “real-world” mega-corporations (consorting with, and lobbying against or for, government policies and such) the issue in conversations around online anonymity is whether or not you believe that those mega-corporations should do for you, or should not do to you.

“For” you, or “to” you.

The preposition makes a difference.

If you believe that Google should do for you, then you will gladly give over your private data without a thought, to companies that view you as a product, and your privacy and anonymity as an afterthought.

If you believe that Facebook should not do to you, then you will be savvy about what you reveal online, where you reveal it, and to what company you give access to your data. You will interact with companies on the Internet who view you as a customer, and your privacy and anonymity as their first thought.

The preposition makes a difference.

If you believe that SnapChat should do for you, then you will gladly stay inside the walls of that communication garden, adopt the rules of the garden without thinking, and will complain when the rules of the garden are changed—as they inevitably will be—because you didn’t build SnapChat. Evan Speigel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown did.

If you believe that Dropbox should not do to you, then you will gladly pay for their premium service which protects your anonymity and expands company revenues in ways that allow it to continue to grow, because you will realize that you aren’t the product. The cloud storage is the product. And you won’t get caught the next time there’s a data breach.

The preposition makes a difference.

If you believe that AirBnB should do for you, then you will gladly applaud as they make changes to who can use their app as a part of their service, to reflect current political and social considerations based in long-simmering cultural passions, rather than revenue based considerations.

If you believe that Uber should not do to you, then you will sign petitions to bring Uber to your town, while also insisting on anonymity in driver data, protection from harassment from incumbents such as taxi drivers and others, and encourage the founders to develop robust responses to charges of sexual assault by drivers in countries not America.

The preposition makes a difference.

If you believe that the Internet should do for you, then you will happily engage with the Internet as a finite communication and connection tool. You will be happy inside walled communications (Skype), commodity (Gmail), and collaboration (GoToMeeting) gardens, and you won’t explore much further than those gardens. Because the Internet has too many options, is too confusing, changes too fast, and is too chaotic and scary to make an informed decision about services or products.

If you believe that the Internet should not do to you, then you will read blogs that have only been read by under 100 people or so, you will mourn the death of RSS feeds and will manage your email subscriptions carefully, and you will be unhappy with the “walled gardens” that the majority insist upon using. Because the Internet is infinite, never-ending, and like any other communication tool, requires self-control to manage, intuition and critical thinking to navigate, and patience to address on its own terms.

“For” you, or “to” you.

The preposition makes a difference.

When considering issues of online anonymity, harassment, bullying, bad behavior, privacy concerns, data breaches, and all the other unethical and illegal behavior being engaged in by individuals and corporations, the understanding of the difference in the meaning behind the preposition matters.

HIT Piece 9.13.2016: Facebook-as-the-Internet

You are probably going to read this post by clicking on a link from Facebook, if you read this at all.

More likely than not, you won’t read this if you see it posted on LinkedIn (it seems too arduous to click on an article, thus the increase of click-bait recently on the platform).

If you happen to see the link to the blog post on Twitter (I didn’t pay for it to trend, nor do I have enough heft to cut through the constant firehose of information on the platform) you most likely won’t read it either.

These three platforms (along with Google) have created an environment of ease of access, shareability of information, and have grown through social proofing (“Everybody else is there, so I must be there as well”) that their influence as media companies is now being seriously discussed by media companies still around from the 20th century.

This leads to three problems, beyond the obvious ones though:

  1. There are biases evident in both the algorithms that run these platforms (as usual, computer models and programs are created by human beings, and human beings have biases) but that phenomenon is compounded by the fact that the people using the platform the most have their own biases. The real struggle is not to get more human curators to do the work of curating that an algorithm is programmed to do. The real struggle for both human curators and the human programmed algorithms running in the background of these platforms, is to educate and inform the audience using the platforms in spite of their biases.
  2. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pintrest, Snapchat, and on and on, are not the Internet. They are applications built atop the Internet. By only accessing information through these silos (the search engine Duck Duck Go actually gives better results than Google) the “lock-in” effect gets deeper and deeper in the person doing the search. This can be a positive. But it can also create myopia, willful ignorance, and a lack of curiosity about the world outside of these platforms.
  3. In the future, the social media and information communication platforms built on top of the Internet will become more fractured, not less. This is the reaction/response to the first two problems, and to solving the problem inherent in the sentence that opened this post. Eventually, more and more niche audiences, being less and less served by the platforms built at “mass” (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, et.al) will seek information out on the long-tail of options. There will be some reverting back to what came before social media (i.e. chatrooms, discussion boards, email listservs (I’m on two or three) and other tools) but eventually, niche audiences will seek access to their own silos outside the megaphone of established social media platforms.

Note, I did not say that these platforms would be profitable, popular to the masses, or easy for outsiders to integrate to and use. Reddit is already like this to some degree in its resistance to monetization, its relative openness, and its vain efforts to curtail its core users’ language and political preferences.

But as every woman seeks the promise behind being her own information queen, the seduction inherent in getting away from Facebook-as-the-Internet will grow in popularity and promise.

[Opinion] The Quality of Mercy Doesn’t Scale…and Never Will…

From the Coliseum to Facebook, there has rarely been any mercy from the mob watching the participants in the arena.

The reason the writers of the Constitution favored a Republic over all else, was that they believed the mob was a dangerous, unpredictable force that moved without logic, rationality, reason, or mercy. And then the horrors of the French Revolution proved them correct about human nature.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for individuals to stand-by, and watch degradations happen to others, people will. This is called the Bystander Effect.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible for the mass of people to suffer the injustices of the moment as long as those injustices do not personally affect them in any way, people will. This is called social proofing.

In modern times, we have psychological and sociological surveys, assessments, and experiments, that show that when it is possible to go along with others en masse as an event of any kind happens, because that even happening confirms a belief deeply and long held, people will. This is called confirmation bias.

The quality of mercy comes about when you know someone personally; when you are connected to their story intimately; and when you empathize with their struggle in a real and powerful way.

The quality of mercy cannot scale.

The outcomes of mercy—justice, forgiveness, reconciliation—can scale, but the actual quality of mercy comes along in an individualized process that cannot be scaled, and must instead be seeded, from one person to another.

No matter whether you’re among the mob watching in the Coliseum, or among the mob engaging on Facebook.

[Advice] On Influencers

Influential personalities and brands online are about to become even more influential as the years go by.

And mediators, lawyers, and negotiators should take note.

Influencer advertising is tricky to navigate, whether you are trying to partner with the peacebuilding neighborhood association with a vibrant Facebook community or the pop singer Rhianna.

Influencer marketing is only going to grow larger in the coming year for the very same reasons that social media is influential now: Individuals trust other individuals more than they trust brands. In the field of mediation and peacebuilding, where trust is a huge deal, influencers and thought leaders such as Bernard Mayer and Kenneth Cloke bring their substantial influence to academic programs, academic writing, advocacy and other areas.

However, as the influence of those individuals begins to fade, a new generation of influencers is rising in the ranks of mediation and peacebuilding professionals, such as Patricia Porter, Brad Heckman, Cinnie Noble, and others who have begun to leverage social tools and the wide reach of the Internet to make a dent in the peace building universe.

For the ADR professional with limited resources to be able to connect with larger names in the peacebuilding world, there are a few things to remember when considering using influencers to advertise your content, your services, your philosophy, or your processes:

Does the influencer’s brand link well with my brand promise?

Carefully considering how an influencer’s brand (which may range from Bernard Mayer all the way to Kim Kardashian) complements the strengths and reduces the weaknesses of the peacebuilder’s brand promise is key to developing a long term relationship with the influencer. Influencers are people first and foremost, and peacebuilding professionals should be about building that relational knowledge ahead of jumping into a branded relationship.

Is the influencer’s audience an audience that I want to be addressing as a peace builder?

Depending upon who the influencer’s audience is (and audiences range in taste and structure from the 1,000 followers the neighborhood peace builder has on her Facebook page, all the way to the millions of fans and followers Jon Stewart has) the peace builder has to decide carefully if that is an audience worth talking to. The fact of the matter is, every audience that a brand influencer has is not appropriate for a peace builder to talk to, nor is every audience open to hearing a message about peace.

Does the influencer’s message help or harm my message?

Every influencer talks to their audience in their own way, using words, images, symbols, and other forms of social cuing that inexorably tie that audience to them.

Some influencers are less savvy than others, but that does not mean that they aren’t sophisticated communications professionals in their own right.


[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode #1 – Chris Strub

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 1 – Chris Strub, Social Media Engager and Connector, Part 2

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode #1 – Chris Strub


Welcome back to the fourth season of The Earbud_U Podcast!

The nostalgia for the perceived security and safety of the Industrial-TV complex dominated world of work and human interaction, is almost deafening.

The nostalgia mostly comes in the form of complaints about the work ethic of the current generation by a generation feeling left behind, and discounted.

Our guest today, Chris Strub is back from the second season of The Earbud_U Podcast. He defines putting in the work and redefining what the new work ethic is, by building a new way of working, using tools that allow him to grow his impact, and actively demonstrate the changing nature of the work ethic conversation.

When work ethic (or nostalgia for an imagined time in the past when people worked “harder” than they do now) is discussed, it’s often framed in the context of “paying your dues.” That mythical state of working hard, being unnoticeable (except for the work that you do), making no demands upon the work structure, and showing appropriate deference to the life experience of people older than you.

In a communication world with digital tools that are reshaping everything from shopping to working globally, “paying your dues” can begin at the age of 15 doing things that

  • Don’t scale
  • Will not appear on a resume
  • That an employer will never know about
  • And will bring the person passive income that can be leveraged after ten years…at the age of 25.

You know, at the moment when the “you should be ‘paying your dues’” conversation begins to happen, directed by superiors, co-workers, and others who didn’t have the digital tools that the 15 to 34 year olds have at their disposal right now.

Work ethic still exists. We just haven’t figured out a new way to calculate its value.

Listen to the podcast and take the multiple opportunities out there to connect with Chris today:

[Advice] Blogging for the Peace Builder

Blogging is still the easiest, lowest cost, way to build a business, establish a client base, become an influencer, or just to use a voice that matters.

It’s almost free marketing that is always on, always distributed, and always accessible.

There are great ADR professionals such as Cinnie Noble, Tammy Lenski, Victoria Pynchon and a few other high profile ADR practitioners, capitalizing on their blogging efforts. But for many ADR professionals, other than the contributors at Mediate.com (and here at ADRTimes.com), blogging is still viewed as a “one-off, one-time” thing.

There are many objections to blogging from the peace builder, but three are primary:

  • I don’t have time to blog.
  • I don’t know what to blog about.
  • I’m not a writer.

Let’s break those down:

I don’t have time to blog:  ADR professionals lead busy lives. They mediate, negotiate and arbitrate complex issues that place psychological and emotional strain on them. Then, they return to homes where they may be confronted by more conflict (Ever hear the joke about the mediator who mediated their own divorce proceeding? I have. It’s depressing.) And, peace building professionals are exposed to more conflicts in social media feeds and from popular culture.

Then, there are children, partners, and responsibilities. By the time the end of the day comes, they are ready to do what their clients do: Go to bed and go to sleep. Then they get up and repeat it.

Who has time to blog?

Well, I’m writing this article in between just having fed my four-year old daughter and working on a client project. What I have found is that there are spaces in the day where thoughts worth blogging about can come flooding in. And, when we sit down at our seats in front of the computer, time becomes available, in spite of distractions, children, clients and other responsibilities.

I don’t know what to blog about: There is so much conflict in the world, at both an organizational and individual level, that I am often surprised by how many peace builders believe this. Peace builders witness disputes in line at their favorite coffee shop in the morning. Disputes occur at local school board meetings, attended the night before. There are disputes in our social media feeds, or even in the newspaper.

When I started blogging regularly, I worried about filling digital space with something meaningful. Then I had a revelation: The number of people consuming content in a digital space will always outweigh the number of people creating content in digital space.

The other piece to consider in this, is a thought that many peace builders have that goes “I don’t have anything to say (or write) so what could I possibly write about?” The fact of the matter is, we need more people who are involved in building peace to have the courage to lay out an argument, stake a claim to a position of truth, and then defend it vigorously and assertively. Courage has always been in short supply in the digital space (see the proliferation of Buzzfeed-like listicles and “Top 25” posts) and hiding away from the consequences of taking a position on topics such as neutrality, client-self-determination, or even the area of deep listening, does not negate the overwhelming need for online wisdom. The fact of the matter is, wisdom is also in short supply in a world where every piece of knowledge is a Google search away. We need more peace builder’s wisdom in the online space and the best place to get that wisdom across is through online, long-form, writing.

I’m not a writer: Many people stop writing regularly about the same time they put college (or high school) in the rearview mirror. Writing is hard, but for the peace builder, writing is the best way to explore and develop thoughts about process, procedure and practice and to grow the field. We need more writing, not less.

And, putting together a sentence or two is really all that it takes to begin. Once that happens, the real struggle becomes how to improve writing, rather than how to start.

One last point on all of this: Many peace builders want to begin writing, but fear that when they are vulnerable in the online space; when they take a position, raise their hand and say “this is me, this is what I’m making,” that there will be pushback from trolls, baiters, scammers, critics, and other bad actors (or actors with mixed motives) online. The thing to remember is that, at a practical level, the bad actors, spammers, and trolls are merely seeking negative attention and—even more perniciously—are seeking to place their shame on the person taking a stand.

At a practical level, the way around this for the peace builder to not accept comments on their blog. Or, to moderate them, or even to not read them. But, peace builders should never allow the bad actor to steal their voice, out of their own mouth, before it has even been used.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Dark Heart of Man

Let’s talk about the kind of communication we want to have.

[Opinion] The Dark Heart of Man

In person communications have always been fraught with difficulty, misunderstandings, miscommunications, negative escalations, and conflicts. When people talk with each other face-to-face there is always the opportunity for confusion and conflict, particularly if the conversation in question is questioning deeply held stories around values, worldviews, and frames.

It takes a lot of emotional quickening to escalate from a conversation to a confrontation to a conflict to a fistfight to a war. There are many discrete steps in face-to-face communication that social norming has established, developed, and refined for thousands of years to limit such escalation. But, as is always the case, human beings’ tools for communication get better, friction and misunderstanding increases, even as the speed of communication increases, and conflicts flare up.

From carrier pigeons to riders on horseback to the telephone to mail by airplane to emails and now Twitter, there have always been people who would rather have a fight than share an idea. And as the speed of our tools has increased how fast we get a message and then react to it, (going from days or weeks to micro-seconds) there hasn’t been a commensurate increase in the heart of rational contemplation.

Thus we get to social media communication. Trolls, bad actors, spammers, and others use the immediacy of social communication tools to psychologically manipulate people on the other end of the message into reacting rather than thinking. And there’s really only two reactions such individuals are seeking: fight or flight.

They aren’t looking for a measured argument.

They aren’t looking for reasonable discourse.

They aren’t looking for knowledge or growth.

They are looking for either a respondent’s heels or their fangs.

In the case of the Internet, and the communication tools we have built on top of it, we have exchanged immediacy for escalation, and have confused passion for legitimacy of an assertion. This is particularly problematic for people delivering messages that are outside the “mainstream,” or that rely on dispassionate examination of facts, rather than passionate reaction to opinions.

Ease of access to digital tools also allows communication to be focused on the tawdry and the spectacle—which is short term—instead of the deliberative and the reasonable—which is long-term. The creators of these digital tools—the owners of the platforms—may be publicly or privately traded companies, but make no mistake: the platforms are private property and the Internet, while vast, is not a place where 1.6 billion participants need to (or deserve to) cast a vote on the operations of a series of companies that built the platforms in the first place.

What kind of communication do we want to have?

The answer to that question, at least as is evidenced by the numbers of people using these communications tools, seems to be that we want friction free, painless, non-relational based communication when we want it, how we want it, that allows us to do what we want, when we want, how we want. But this is an inherently selfish and vain position, based in our perception of want, rather than a relational need.

Online communication will always be fraught with difficulty and no amount of changing a name policy, policing speech we don’t like, or building walls and doors into platforms, is going to prevent than difficulty. This is because the tools we use to communicate are the problem because of the assumptions and expectations built into them.

We’ve got to figure this out though, because at a global scale, there won’t be a positive outcome from communications wars between people. We are already seeing the beginnings of skirmishes around the edges of platforms such as Reddit and Twitter. We are also seeing responses to such skirmishes from companies such as SnapChat and WhatsApp, which promise to build platforms with more friendly assumptions around safety, conviviality, and trust built into them, rather than welded on from the outside as an afterthought.

More special interest groups meeting with Facebook isn’t going to solve this communications problem.

More governmental lobbying at scale by Google isn’t going to solve this problem either.

More closing off, disengaging online, or demanding more censorious penalties for people we don’t like, saying things that make us feel threatened, abused, or bullied (the aforementioned trolls, bad actors, and spammers) isn’t going to solve this problem either.

The solution to all of this, as with most things, lies in changing the motivations toward selfishness, vanity, and revenge that lie deep in the heart of man.

And, to borrow from Einstein when he was talking about the outcomes of the development of nuclear weapons, I’m going to bet that the founders of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and many, many other chatrooms, message boards, and email systems since the web was democratized, secretly wish, deep in their hearts, that they could go back in time, and instead become watchmakers.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled ‘HIT Piece’ To Ask A Question

In many parts of the United States, there are people who are addicted to drugs.

We could talk all day about the mechanics of addiction, but there is something that is almost never focused on in any discussion of addiction. We talk about the socioeconomic conditions, familial conditions, societal conditions that lead individuals to pursue the short-term rush of pleasure that come from addiction, rather than seeking the long-term work that comes with addressing any area of our lives.

Compulsion, bad habits, obsessions, addictions; we can all agree that moderation in the material world is best in all things, but when moderation—through individual decision making—begins to warp and change patterns of behaviors in the community of people around addicts, then we all begin to agree that there is a problem.

In the digital space—as in our real lives—brands and individuals are addicted to the short-term impact of paying for attention because of its seemingly immediate results. But once you pay digitally, just as in any addiction off-line, you’ll pay again, and again.

Thus FB can sell ads.

Thus Google and Twitter will have you pay-per-click or per Tweet.

The thing is though, in the digital world, the equity of attention is really expensive in the long-term while seeming deceptively cheap in the short-run, so brands are more than willing to pay, particularly when the cost comes down to a rounding error on their marketing balance sheets.  While in the long-term, individuals become impatient, leaping from platform to platform hoping to be done, consistently peripatetic, never really satisfied, and finally abandoning the whole thing in frustration.

But the outcomes for both brands and individuals in the digital space is the same as in the real world. And as the outcomes of this digital addiction become more manifest, the social media commons are wrecked and destroyed (through cynicism over loss of privacy and data selling), messages become drowned out in the cacophony of noise (150 million channels on the Internet and rising), and the audience (always fickle) shifts its focus faster than a goldfish.

I’m not complaining though.

Putting in the work on the long game is the only way to outlast, outplay, and out endure the short-term addicts with deep pockets and little self-awareness. There are three things the smaller people (like myself and other corporate trainers) can do to ensure our survival and longevity (rather than giving up and going home) in this digital foaming red sea:

Share, share, share—someone told me the other day that the reason her company doesn’t do more work in the online space is because she’s worried that she won’t get paid for her content and that she won’t get proper attribution, credit, referrals and revenues. This is backward, Industrial Revolution based thinking where scarcity still ruled in information. I can’t believe I have to point this out, but after 25 years of Google and almost 40 years of the Internet, scarcity rules in attention. So share freely, because if you don’t your competitors will.

Carve, carve, carve—finding a niche is huge in the digital landscape and then mining that niche in the way that it wants to be mined not the way that you think it should be mined, is the path toward long-term longevity. Carving a niche where you own the attention of a few thousand people is the most valuable, long-term form of scaling there is.

Unite, unite, unite—joining with others is the only way forward, whether you’re a digital publisher, or a corporate trainer, or a product person. The big brands in all spaces and niches have seemingly deep pockets. But there is so much white space in collaboration, connection, and growing your network to increase your net worth, that it’s amazing to me how great the level of contraction is that’s currently happening as fear of loss rules rather than anticipation of gain. Uniting together—and keeping that unity through using open source software and collaborative in-person methods—is the only way to combat the fear of loss.

The drug of “I can go it alone.” The drug of “I don’t need to share.” The drug of “I am for everybody.” These gateway drugs lead to other addictions (like gaming short-term attention through paying for it) that then lead to emotional exhaustion, disengagement, and cynicism.

The question you have to ask yourself—and that I’ve already clearly answered—is: How committed are you to the long-game?

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] 3 Thoughts That May (Or May Not) Intersect…

Three thoughts that may (or may not) intersect with each other:

Thought #1: There’s a lot of high profile, persistent, whining going on in the space of web publishing, content creation, and even in the scrappy world of podcasting. This phenomenon of whining is also extending into commentary around entrepreneurship as the venture capital money that has been floating big bets for years begins to dry up. The thing is though, if you are a web publisher, or a podcaster, or a content creator, or a struggling entrepreneur, the whining has got to stop. The landscape of the Internet is infinite, no matter what the big digital brands are telling you through their marketing.

Thought #2: Attention and awareness are the coin of the realm right now in any digital space, and all you need to be successful (whatever that means) is 1,000 people willing to bet on your reputation, have a relationship with you, then give you revenue, and make a referral for your service or product. The idea that the digital system can be gamified through creating fake followers, fake awareness, and false hype is dying as fast as the money dries up.

Thought #3: In the digital space, and in our off line, real life interactions lately, the substance of truth is seen to not be as marketable as the illusion of symbolism. But this is a false paradigm. Substance based in truth has always grow more followers, attracted more awareness, and generated more revenues (in trust first and money last) for more people that anything else tried ever.

The problem comes when many people—from celebrities to the average man on the street—buy into the frothy hype of the short-term gain at the expense of the long-term relationship. As the bubbles pop all over the place and as web publishers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and others have to get back to the substance of building products, let’s hope they focus on communicating the truth—no matter how scary it is.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Broadcasting, Sharing, and Interacting

There are subtle differences between broadcasting, sharing, and interacting in any conflict scenario.

Broadcasting is what live streaming and most posting on social media is about. Broadcasting is an act that—by itself without more thought behind it—is deeply selfish and desirous of attention for its mere existence. Broadcasting a suicide attempt, or broadcasting a cat video, fall into this same category.

Sharing is what much of blogging, email newsletter creation, and some social posting is about. Sharing is an act that—by itself without more thought behind it—begins a collaborative communication process between a creator and their audience. The audience can be a Dunbar’s Number of close friends, or it can be an audience of a few thousand “followers” but sharing is about skimming the top of a building a collaborative relationship.

Interacting is what broadcasting, plus sharing, plus intentionality, is about. Interacting involves going past merely acting to prove the existence of a product, service, philosophy, or process, and goes directly to creating for an audience and their desires. Interacting means engaging actively with everyone in the audience (even those people we’d rather not engage with) and is the penultimate act of courage.

In a conflict, broadcasting is the equivalent of telling a story about your conflict repeatedly, in order to create separation between “us” and “them.”

In a conflict, sharing is the equivalent of attending training and hoping that you remember one thing that you can apply afterward.

In a conflict, interacting is the equivalent of going beyond telling your story and attending training, and taking the time and effort to personally engage with personal development around your responses and reactions to conflicts in your life.

Broadcasting, sharing and interacting are happening at all levels in our society; and, our digital tools have provided us with the ease of communicating faster and faster. But this also means that our responses to conflicts in our lives become more shallow and immediate, even as the reactions cut us emotionally at a deeper and deeper level.