In a post I wrote for AllSides.com entitled Speak up or Shut up: How Conversational Cowardice is Killing this Country, I told the story of an experience I had with a Non-commissioned Officer when I was in the Air Force. In short, what happened was that the NCO used his rank to completely silence me in a conversation. I used this story as an illustration for a concept I call “de-ranking conversation”.
Whether we intend them to or not, most of our conversations happen in frameworks that are upheld by socially accepted ranking systems. As I’ve witnessed it, when conversations happen in a context where someone believed to hold a “higher social ranking”, it is virtually impossible to have the conversations we need to have in order to move our society forward into an age of cooperation and compatibility.
I talk about this concept in more detail on The Humanize Podcast. It was fun and engaging to talk with the hosts, Courthney Russell and Emily Braucher. Sore throat and all. 😁🤣. I hope it serves you and gets you thinking.
And if you’re interested in having de-ranked conversations on subjects as diverse as Race and Ethnicity to Healthcare, check out Living Room Conversations.
To listen to the follow up to the above episode of The Humanize Podcast, go here: