Authentic trumps agreeable

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I had the honor of facing Boston traffic in the rain yesterday with the one and only Leslie Fishlock, President/CEO of Genevate and Founder/Brilliantess of Geek Girls.

Because we are both huge geeks, we talked a lot of shop – and Leslie said a fantastic thing about blogging:

“I read so many blogs that I don’t agree with – but I’m always attracted to an authentic voice.”

If we all want blogs to continue to inform and educate, like the good ones do, then embracing Leslie’s sentiment is critical. After all, how can you learn new things or grow as a person if you only read items that you agree with?

Disagreement, differing options…they make the world go ’round. But there are two sides to this dialogue.

  1. The writer must be authentic, speaking from the heart. Their voice has to shine through and their reasons for their position must be clear.
  2. The reader must have an open mind, a natural curiosity and the desire to listen, digest, expand.

When respectful people read contrary views and have the blog-given ability to comment on them, the magic happens. Views are opened, discussions occur, common ground may be found. And people find less and less of a reason to fight, blame or -simply- stick to their side of the fence.

I’ll admit that my M.O. isn’t always to read posts I disagree with either completely or with an open-mind. But now I can see that I was the one missing out. I wasted an opportunity to learn, educate and communicate. This post is a shout out to readers and bloggers (many are one in the same) – write with passion, realness and respect. Read and respond with the same.

Turns out we don’t have to agree to get along, we just have to be real.

Image credit: photographer pandora

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Debra Snider says:

    Good point! I think it’s also important to read other people’s work with the benefit of the doubt firmly in mind. Instead of reacting with anger or annoyance, or making negative assumptions about the motivations and mindset of writers with differing points of view, I try to assume they are writing with sincerity and thoughtfulness and in good faith. This isn’t always easy, but it’s totally worth the effort: it makes it possible to understand, to avoid flying off the handle unnecessarily, and to comment effectively.

  • Becky Pearce says:

    I completelt agree and love the way you’ve framed this. I read a lot of blogs and don’t always agree, but that’s part of the beauty of social media, isn’t it? I read a lot of things lately about negativity on Twitter and I think this is the key. Sometimes we just have to “agree to disagree.” You never know when someone’s differing point of view might lead to your next breakthrough idea.

  • Michael says:

    Hey, have you seen this news article?
    New details about Michael Jackson’s Death Emerge
    I was wondering if you were going to blog about this…

  • Daisy says:

    Excellent post. I’ve been a little bland lately; my voice was stronger during the election. Now? I think it’s time to get back to me, to speaking my mind clearly.

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