Embracing Diversity

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic was "Embracing Diversity".  The event featured people discussing the current situation across topics where people seem to have forgotten how to embrace people with different opinions.

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic was “Embracing Diversity”.  The event featured people discussing the current situation across topics where people seem to have forgotten how to embrace people with different opinions.

Kon Apostolopolous and Pete Alexander helped talk through some of the things they encounter and how they help people deal with this.

Ron Higgs made a great point about sometimes you will not be able to understand the viewpoint of someone.  He explained an example of an adult African American taking a day off of work to get their car window fixed just in case they were pulled over by the police.  Viewpoint is something we definitely need to consider when trying to embrace someone with different opinions.

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The conversation did get off course a little from time to time, but overall there were some great things discussed.

The role of social media and the algorithms were also mentioned.  People need to be aware that they are targeted by all media and it can pull you more towards an extreme.  Some people suggested getting news from multiple viewpoints to get a more balanced sense of what is really going on.

Data manipulation came up.  The group discussed how data can be manipulated to say just about anything you want so everything needs to be reviewed carefully if used to make a decision.

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In the end a framework for engaging and seeking to understand people with these different opinions emerged.  It is quite simple honestly.

Understand that people with different opinions are probably good people.  Try to understand their viewpoint.  Then seek to understand why they believe what they do.  It will uncover many tings you had not anticipated that may provide common ground.  Even if there is not common ground they still are probably good people.  Agree to disagree and remember that many good people will  have a different opinions.

It was also mentioned that there are some opinions that are outside of this and unacceptable.

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Tough conversations with a great group of people.

Thanks to the people who attended and who continue to support this group.  We all rise together!

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people, diversity, understand, pete, mask, talk, andrew, point, situation, fact, ira, supercharged, listen, amped, khan, find, consume, embrace, appeasing, problem.


Damon Pistulka, Ron Higgs, Ira Bowman, Andrew Cross, Kon Apostolopolous, Pete Alexander.


Damon Pistulka  00:05

Alright, guys got some music coming in again. Awesome. Awesome.


Andrew Cross  00:10

out there. Can they hear it?


Ira Bowman  00:12

calming and calming and fun? Yeah, they can hear it. Trust me. I can hear it. Yes, my wife. My wife is upstairs saying turn that shit off.


Damon Pistulka  00:22

Oh, awesome. Well glad to see everyone here again at our exit your way business roundtable you know today we’re going to talk about something that’s going to be well, we’ll see.


Andrew Cross  00:36

We’ll get it up your systems. This is Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  00:38

get out of our systems. I mean, it’s boiling up in a lot of us and I think it’s time for us to be hopefully be good examples here. We’ll bring some people to stage when it’s when it’s appropriate and and get some more comments going. But let’s start out get hitting people in the chat. But that


Ira Bowman  00:59

my wife just came down and close my door.


Andrew Cross  01:04

So it never happens here.


Damon Pistulka  01:06



Ira Bowman  01:09

I’ve actually I’ve actually, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it.


Damon Pistulka  01:13

The opposite very opposite side.


Ira Bowman  01:16

doors off camera. So she comes in and she gives me stink guy.


Andrew Cross  01:20

Yeah. She’s like, gosh, you’re loud. Am I love?


Ira Bowman  01:25

And and I’m always on camera. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  01:30

I see the chats rolling already. That’s good. Yeah, get out there. If you’re not connected to the LinkedIn thing, get your get your link out there. If you’re new, introduce yourself, do those kind of things. Any Any thoughts? Before we get started? Guys?


Ira Bowman  01:47

Yeah, Joe, Joe, the finance guy wants to know where Andrew’s Golf Club is. And if he’s gonna swing it, we’re talking about as


Damon Pistulka  01:53

always got it. He’s always always, always got it. Always. Always got it if you’ve been


Andrew Cross  02:00

trying to fix that place. Yeah. No, friend.


Ira Bowman  02:04

No. The best way for me to fix the slices to eat the sandwich? Yeah.


Andrew Cross  02:11

Probably good advice.


Damon Pistulka  02:12

Yeah. Well, I hope everyone is, you know, enjoying this political season as little as I. And I don’t really don’t really this is not a political debate this morning. I just think that it’s, it’s telling and what we’re going to be talking about today. And when we talk about embracing diversity, it’s my Go ahead, Ira. I’m just


Ira Bowman  02:37

gonna say it’s not even about it’s not politics at all.


Damon Pistulka  02:40

Not at all.


Ira Bowman  02:42

Did you guys see Andrew said, just got a look. Anyway.


Damon Pistulka  02:49

Fire are already starting this off, Matt.


Ira Bowman  02:54

Is the underlying issue is that instead of instead of accepting people and embracing the diversity, which is the title of the show, right? Meaning it’s about clinging to a position, and everybody who has the opposite position of you on that one topic is your? Yeah, I will say something that probably is a little controversial. When I saw as the world did that Trump had COVID. In my feed, I saw a lot of people saying, good, I hope he dies. And they weren’t even joking. And I’m like, that is to me insane. Right? Just because somebody is the opposite of you politically, or your position, thinking they shouldn’t be your enemy. I don’t I don’t understand that. And I’ll bet you in this room more more rational. And so we’re all going to agree on that. I don’t think anybody’s gonna go Oh, I hope my enemies die. That’s that’s not rational thought. But you see it in social media feeds a lot.


Damon Pistulka  03:58

Well, yeah. And I think I think for us that the people in this group, I think you’re absolutely right IRA that, that we know, there’s diversity, and we have to embrace and we work through these, and we work with it all the time. And I really think that what I was hoping today that we could do was to talk about how do we be a better example, better ourselves tomorrow, you know, be better than we were today at this? And how do we be a good example of the people around us because it starts with us. It starts with us being a good example. It’s good example for ourselves. Good example for our family good example for our circle of influence. And it really does because if it because 80% of the people in the United States want in the world, do you just talking? I want to be able to live harmoniously with people and and and want to be able to discuss things rationally and and do it. I just want to be able to talk today about some of the things that we can do is that we can do that. If we find somebody that has a different opinion than us, rather than dismissing it and going, they’re stupid or like you said I or they’re my enemy. How do we really open mindedly embrace that opinion? not disagree. agreeing with it, not thinking it’s good not thinking it’s bad. Just understanding it.


Ira Bowman  05:29

Well, I could


Andrew Cross  05:31

example, Bateman, I think you’re doing it. Like, just by doing this? Yeah, first. Right, get it out. Talk about it. You know, the elephant in the room? Right. We talked about biases, you know, in previous discussion? Well, right, which is kind of where it all starts. And we’ll, you know, we’d had a great discussion about that and talk about that. Yeah, we all have biases, you know, that’s just it. Right. So, let’s, let’s look at what we’re biased towards, and, you know, embrace that. Right. Or, you know, you know, so it’s the only way we ourselves can answer that kind of question. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  06:08

So I think I think


Ira Bowman  06:10

part of the answer is you need to hang out on Professor Pete’s stress relief page. Yeah, yeah. there and chill the hell out. You know what I mean? Like, you’re amped up all the time, then you need to back off on anything. Really?


Damon Pistulka  06:24

Yeah. Yeah, for sure.


Ira Bowman  06:26

None of this. None of this stuff is like Oh,


Damon Pistulka  06:29

that’s a great point. You know, in a lot of it is we are so amped up. Now. Let’s, let’s talk about a few things that have that have intensified this right. We all got stuck at home with COVID. All of us, right. So we so lost jobs, jobs changing, stuck with our kids. So that first of all created stress. And Dr. Elliot explained that last week, really well I believe, and so so we have that underlying thing. Then we go okay, we’re shutting down the businesses so now we can’t leave our homes we can’t do that. And now that as they open up, we got to do mass and some people agree and mass some people don’t agree on mass. Now these are all Yes,


Ira Bowman  07:09

we could we could talk Okay, forget politics. You guys just stop it with politics because this isn’t our vs.


Damon Pistulka  07:15

Yeah. We can fight


Ira Bowman  07:17

we can we can talk about masks. It’s a microcosm that perfectly explains how all this thing works. You guys gonna say of course, wear masks and I’m gonna tell you that something that’s gonna rock your world. Okay, I’m gonna give you an analogy because I love to teach my pictures. Your homemade mask. Look, I got one right here. It’s beautiful. Look at this professor. Pete’s gonna love it. Okay. Oh, it’s beautiful baby. Now, readers, this is a statically pleasing to my eye. And I can walk into any building including a hospital with this on. And it does 100% nothing to stop you from getting COVID or me from spreading COVID you don’t want to you want to Why? Because the micro organism is so small passes through this, you want to know an apt analogy for this. It’ll be it’ll help you. The COVID-19 micro organism the micron size is so small. It’s like trying to contain bumblebees with a barbed wire fence. Now the barbed wire fence does contain some things if you have cattle and horses and things like that it works great. And so does this for things like dust, and pollen, and some of the things that you would get from plant seeds that the microorganisms, they’re larger, and this would catch it. But if I walk into any restaurant, school, I can send my kids to school, I can go like I said, I my wife had a concussion, we went to the emergency room, guess what? Most people were wearing a cloth mask I happen to have. And then 95 mask because I understand that this is like, it makes me feel good. But it doesn’t actually do anything.


Damon Pistulka  08:53

Well. And so I think this is a great example because I take it from a different approach on this. I really don’t give a shit if the match helps or not. Because if it makes people if it helps,


Ira Bowman  09:07



Damon Pistulka  09:07

it just, it makes people feel better because I don’t I don’t care. I mean, I care obviously I care, too, but but it’s like, if that’s what I’m supposed to do and make other people feel I’m not gonna jump up and say, I don’t believe in a mask and blah and it’s not that big of a deal. We make things like this into a big deal. I just don’t think i think that we get wrapped up in these issues. Right? And yes, there are some things when we when we look at what’s important not what’s important in life, if it’s not gonna affect you, it’s not gonna hurt you. It’s not gonna you know, okay, let’s let it go. You know,


Ira Bowman  09:47

this is the this is the point of it, though. This is why I bring it up. People will fight. I mean physically fight and they have fun. It’s people will fight over a mask. And it but isn’t the mask Think all the way through this, like I just mask that you’re wearing that most people are wearing. And let’s not even talk about when’s the last time they cleaned it, because I bring it in 95 or a cloth mask, if you know you have to clean it, or they get contaminated, you realize, if you’ve been working math for six months, guess what, you’re just spreading dirty air and you’re actually inhaling dirty air which you could make yourself. So anyways, so kinds of science behind it. And I’m a nerd, I know. But the fact of


Andrew Cross  10:30

you holding back yunyun, you know, like we do, you are


Ira Bowman  10:32

evil. You’re appeasing yourself, you’re appeasing the crowd, but are you actually helping medically No, you actually could be causing more harm than you’re doing good. But again, people will fight if you’re not wearing a mask. Some people are pro masks, they’ll fight. And some other people have decided for whatever reason, they don’t want any mask, which is insane. So that’s my opinion. But it’s got to be a clean mask. It’s got to be an in 95. Right. So it’s gotta be the right type of mess. But anyways, but people will fight to the death to not wear a mask, you know what I mean? And it’s kind of like, that’s not an RD thing. That’s, that’s, you know, something else.


Andrew Cross  11:11

But it’s not the masks, right? I mean, there’s lots of things to fight over. This is just one of them. And it’s just an example,



we didn’t have to talk about.


Damon Pistulka  11:19

So let’s, let’s talk about this a little bit, you know, what, what are some of the things that you can do when you’re walking up to somebody and you start talking to them? You go, Okay, so you don’t believe in maths? You know, what, what’s going on? Why? Why? I mean, is that what we need to do here, you know, the thing that I, I come back to you is that we’ve all been amped up, we’ve been amped up, because the political crap that we see, we’ve been amped up, because the people that are that are getting make money, make money, and I remember this, they make money, if something goes, if we are influenced one way or the other. Let’s Don’t forget that the social media that put us all together on this kind of thing, is actually influencing people one way or the other, if we’re not careful about that. And, and we’re being we’re being influenced and spun up to the point that we can’t talk about things anymore. And, you know, if you go back, and I haven’t done it recently, but I can remember debates 20 years ago, between political candidates, they actually talked about something that they believed in, rather than the other side being dumb, and no, you’re dumb, and no, you’re dumb. No, you’re dumb. That’s all we hear. When, I mean, we have to be the ones that can go, okay. What is it about, about this, that really get you I mean, I would like to be able to do understand how I can walk up to somebody that’s very passionate about something, take Black Lives Matter, right? If you look at it, I can walk up to somebody that’s, that’s very passionate about Black Lives Matter. And they may look at me and say, You’re the very problem. They will. So a lot of so how can I? How can I embrace this enough and be good enough as a person to talk to them and go? Why? Why is it like this? Why is it like this? Why do we feel that it’s just divisive? What do we need to do to work? I don’t know. I just and and that’s why I’m hoping that some if I think what do you guys think I’m gonna bring Khan up too, because I know Khan’s got some things to say about this. And I just want to I want to, I want us to learn some things. And maybe Pete, if Pete’s got some things, it’s, it’s like, we got to figure out how we can be better examples. Because if we don’t like our kids,


Ira Bowman  13:48

I want to talk about one thing. So it’s on the political side of it, but it’s a it’s a suggestion, I read a book A long time ago is about 15 years ago, now read a book and it was called every man’s battle. And what I liked about the book is it made me think about my mind. In from the, from the, from the perspective of a consumer, the media that I was consuming, was affecting my thoughts. It was affecting the way I think it was affecting my attitude, it was affecting pretty much my whole existence, and I never really considered that before. So like if I was watching a lot of politically charged stuff, and I skew conservative guys can’t tell. Right so listening to rush limbaugh listening to Sean Hannity before he lost his mind anyways, um, a lot, a lot of you know, some of the other guys that aren’t even in on the radio and the TV anymore because, you know, of their age or their conservative views, whatever. But that’s what I was listening to all day long, because I’m an outside salesman business to business salesmen. I was in my car and listen to the am radio and then I would come home and watch Fox News. You know, and I would just be pissed off at the liberals because of what I was consuming. So in the book, he doesn’t talk about it from conservative points of view, he’s actually talking about it from like sexually charged things and stuff with like maybe a lot of nastiness in it. But I took that and I applied it across to my political stuff. But then at that point, I started to spend half my time digesting the other side’s like CNN and NBC and you know, listening to NPR and some of that stuff that didn’t even exist back then. But anyways, right to get a more balanced perspective. And what did that do for me, Oh, my God, it cooled me down. I wasn’t as supercharged. And I started to understand that the liberals aren’t just stupid. They’re not evil. They’re actually smart people with real ideas, have real goals and want to accomplish things. And then through it, what I ultimately learned was, this is really, ultimately about management styles. Right? You guys believe in this type of management? We believe in this type of management. We’re really, you said earlier, Damon 80% of the global population, where we got that number from and whenever actually, is, we want to live in peace and harmony. We all pretty much want the same things. Just how are we going to get there? And so because I started to do that and consume media in a different way, sometimes the answer just turn the damn thing off and get away from it. Right, which is why I suggest going to hang out with Professor Pete his stress relief tips, because they’ll tell you that get out in nature, take a hike, yeah. Breathe deeply. I mean, all these tips, and they and they help you none of them are watch more news. Right? So anyways, good consuming media differently helped me for that, because it helped me to get a more a bigger perspective. You know what I mean, just the opinion that hypercharged what I already believed it was kind of like when when you only hang out with people who tell you yes, all the time. They never challenge your thinking, and ever share new ideas. Because because they have to just tell you, you’re the best and you’re awesome. And you’re the smartest person in the room, which I always say for the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, getting a different room, right? You know, part of all this


Damon Pistulka  17:12

man in the scary thing about that IRA is I was talking and I didn’t know this coach constant. I was talking to a software guy yesterday. And he explained to me, we just briefly touched on this. And he said, you know, the scary thing is, I was talking to a big data company a few years ago. And they were explaining to us how well they can predict what you are going to do in two weeks. He said, or two or three weeks, he said, I can tell you’re going to buy a car in two or three weeks. And he said with an 8080 plus percent accuracy. And this is a scary part. And he said, because of what we do, I can push that over 90%. So that is, we really have to hear what you’re saying I think is is critical to us becoming better. Better at this. So coach Khan, I don’t mean to put you on the spot, dude, but you are. Good. To me.


Ira Bowman  18:18

His name was coach Khan. Think about that. But


Kon Apostolopolous  18:23

it was fella with a key on purpose IRA.


Ira Bowman  18:26

Because I find the irony in that I actually we were talking with Professor Pete earlier, and he was stressed out about a technology meeting. And I was like, does anybody else see the irony in the stress relief Professor being stressed out anyways?


Kon Apostolopolous  18:39

Yeah. It’s like me teaching a time management class and showing up late. It’s the same sort of thing. But that’s the that’s the thing. What did we just do right now we laughed at, we’ve lost our sense of humor with some of these things. Let’s go back to the basic thing. We’ve lost our ability to kind of laugh at the situation to kind of look at the things and say, You know what, I’m back to being ridiculously when we stop when we shut everybody else out. And we kind of get into our own little rooms, as you pointed out, Ira and we consume the media that kind of reinforces the behavior that I already have there. When I’m in a situation when the only people I talk to are people that are agreeing with me, when the only colors are see are red or blue, it becomes a problem. And that’s the thing because we we it’s like shutting off one of my eyes, I can only see out of one side of that I’m not getting all the information that I need. We’ve lost our peripheral vision of things. We’ve lost our ability to step back. Now again, you said a beautifully Damon in the sense that you know what for a period of time, we were on lockdown. For whatever reason, we were on lockdown, and that that put us as a captive audience and all of a sudden we found ourselves consuming media much more than we normally would. We got a way out about reading And all of a sudden, these these these different platforms had a captive audience and they were just feeding it. And it became like a feeding frenzy from that perspective. At the heart of it, what are we talking about? We’re talking about dealing with fear. People are responding this way, not because it’s a mass, not because it’s something else, but rather, it’s it triggers a fear inside them. And we need to figure out what is it that’s making this person scared? Because, yeah, anger is nothing more than fear manifesting itself differently in an aggressive way.


Damon Pistulka  20:31

That’s a great point. That is a great point. I never I never thought of it. You’re absolutely right. It’s, it says, I catch myself when I’m afraid I get angry. When you get sad, you get angry? That’s a good point.


Kon Apostolopolous  20:44

Okay, we know it’s all it is. I mean, it’s a manifestation of that.


Ira Bowman  20:47

Now, I want to say this, too. I have seen sweet, I hate to use this term, because I don’t want to make anybody mad. But it is what it is. I’ve seen sweet old ladies. Nothing but good intentions is what I mean here, right? It’s not like, you know, people go into this a lot of people that I’ve seen, supercharged, one way or the other. They’re very friendly people. They go in with the best of intentions. They’re like, you know what, I just don’t want to hang out with the negative crowd and the opposite crowd to them, whatever side they’re on, is the negative crowd. And that’s the way that’s portrayed in their media, their skewed media, because both of them look, I listened to both sides. They both do the same thing to skew the other side, right? They’re the devil. They’re the evil ones. They’re the ignorant ones. They’re the uneducated ones. You know, like most neighbors, they’re, they’re the red next, if you will, but it’s always the other side. So they go in these people go in with good intentions, because they’re nice, and they just want to avoid conflict. And then they get supercharged, because they’re avoiding the conflict. It’s It’s funny how it works. This caught his con game. Oh,


Andrew Cross  21:51

yeah. It’s happening to you people are having they consume that stuff like crazy. Why are we so why is that happening? Why are we so what is? Why do they get such good ratings? Just keep amping people up? I don’t know, what’s the fascination?


Kon Apostolopolous  22:04

What’s the sole reason why you can’t turn away?


Andrew Cross  22:07

A bit too. So you know, more than I should? Probably


Ira Bowman  22:10

but the media is paid. I mean, honestly, they’re paid with advertising. So if they can, if they can’t hook you in Yeah, they don’t. They don’t make as much money really good. At psychology, you got Professor Pete up now back on great guests, right? But they’re really good at this, this this look, I’m good at sales psychology. Trust me. That’s what I that’s how I make my money. And if I’m gonna make more sales by getting you to think a certain way, then my job in my shows, and then my post and everything else that I do is to get you to agree with me. And I’m going to get you to agree with me.


Pete Alexander  22:47

Yeah, it’s true. I mean, negative news sells, and it’s 90%. If you ever watch watch a broadcast news, it’s going to cover 90% on the negative and that’s because it’s our human nature that we pay attention to. It’s sort of like being in a in traffic, and there’s some sort of accident on the side. You want to see the blood and guts, but you always look.


Damon Pistulka  23:12

Yeah, no problem.


Ira Bowman  23:14

So remember this in politics and everything. The mob mentality is not new phenomena. Romans ruled with the mob mentality, it’s always been popular, you get you get, you spread it like wildfire. And that motivates people to make changes otherwise, we’re more content to let things be if everything’s good. So what’s the precipice for change, we have to we have to create dissatisfaction. So again, if they want to install new policies, if they want to make change and you know, that’s what they get paid to do as of yet


Andrew Cross  23:49

be you know, you still watch you know, the guy with the car accident one for example to it. So it’s always when the disasters right, yes, that’s, that’s been going on ever. People feel better, their own circumstances, I you know, seeing how, you know, bad it can be and it’s, it is fascinating, but it’s the other part where it’s really getting people angry, you know, are putting blame on something else, you know, and getting, you know, more and more amped up about stuff. That’s this thing that’s kind of new, and I don’t really understand why people feel, you know, I mean, it obviously works. I don’t know what the attraction is, that really gets people in there to crank those ratings up for those guys. Well, hold on, it’s an


Pete Alexander  24:27

us against, it’s an us against the world kind of mentality. And people want to feel like they’re part of something. And if they relate to whatever this anger is, they’re going to want to support it. And that’s, that’s, it’s it’s a real bleeding thing, but I wanted to extend on what Khan was saying to um, I learned something several years ago that really took a lot of the charge and out of it for me when I’m dealing with some who’s got a completely polarizing attitude, and I wanted to pass this on, it’s the fact that we all should respect the other person’s perception of the world. Now listen to that perception of the world, we’re not saying that they’re right or wrong, it’s that that’s how they perceive what they think is correct. And we should respect that, as they should respect us. Obviously, a lot of times, that’s not the case. But can we control the other person we cannot. That’s the other part of this that is really important is, we have to understand that anytime we’re faced with a stressful situation. There are aspects of it that we can control. There are aspects of it that we can’t control, but our human nature is to worry about or stress about all of those areas. And our mind share is all mixed and shared between the uncontrollable and the controllable. If we can say to in our minds, okay, what is it that we can control, we can control our own response to the other person, you know, we were talking about masks earlier, we can’t control the other person wearing a mask, but we can control our own mask or six feet of social distancing, washing our hands, whatever it happens to be, if we focus on what we can control, then we can affect change around us. And when we feel like we have control, and when we feel like we can have have effect change, that’s when our stress goes down. So I highly recommend thinking about it. Oh, their perception, other person’s perception of the world respected, and only worry about what you can control?


Andrew Cross  26:53

Well, that an IRA, that’s kind of what they did in your with your story, because I, you know, go one of the other side flip into the other chat, you know, just


Ira Bowman  27:03

an Andrew. Andrew, talking about the Andrew Deutsch and I are talking about this in the in the comments, right? So I’m gonna tell you something, I took six nutrition classes in college, I could actually minor in nutrition. And one of the things that I learned in my nutrition classes is that the data, first of all, I have a marketing degree business marketing degree, I, I understand data better than most people do. Okay, so data can be manipulated in a million different ways. Yeah. Even who’s paying to collect the data? Yeah. Who’s collecting the data? Who’s reporting the data? You want to say? Well, it’s a fact. I hate to tell you, but most facts aren’t actually facts. Yeah, I read that a fact is a fact. And what is the definition of a fact is a truth that will not change, right? The earth is not round. That that’s a fact. But you know what, you go back 1400 years, and that wasn’t the fact you would have been put to death for believing the earth is round, the earth was flat. We burned people at the stake, who don’t who would say otherwise. But it didn’t change the fact that yours was round. You know what I mean? There’s a lot of, quote unquote, facts that aren’t actually facts. They’re just what we think are facts. Now, you know, your facts versus my facts. And this is another thing that’s changed if you want to look at the political landscape, and the evolution of our diatribe vehicle, thought process the the collapse of civility, if you will. It used to be that facts were facts, we would watch the news, right? We watched the news, and everybody would agree. Okay, the news is unbiased. And this is what it is. Now, you have the CNN facts, and you have the Fox News facts. I’m just picking on those two, it could be anybody, right? But you have different sets of facts. And one group will tell you well, they’re wrong because they believing this fake news. And our president loves to use that term. So I’ll pick on him for a second, right? Fake News, fake news, fake news. Well, there’s plenty of people millions of people who believe that quote unquote, fake news, is it fact or not, I don’t disagree. A fact is a fact. But I’m just saying, Who is? Who decides what fact is actual fact? Because there is no independent fact checkers, you know, to be a factor on Facebook can get to blocked on LinkedIn can get to celebrated the same.


Kon Apostolopolous  29:22

Let me let me ask, let me kind of take that thread and pick up from what we’re Professor Pete lifted off. But essentially, the way that you interpret those quote unquote, facts is your perception. You’re going to react is real. You’re not I mean, if, if I perceive a situation as a friendly situation, I’m going to go in with perceive a situation as as as a threatening situation, I’m going to go in very, very differently. And that shapes the way that I that I approach it, but the thing that I always take in mind, again, to re emphasize my professor Pete and his wisdom shares with us. Look at that situation. You so you know what, I can only to control myself, I can’t control what you believe what you say what you do. But my, my response to that is that your choices, your decision are limiting my options. If I don’t feel comfortable in a certain situation, I remove myself from that situation. And that I can control. Yeah, if you want to wear a mask, you don’t want to wear a mask, depending on how I perceive that situation. I may look at that. So you know what I’m comfortable saying, I’m comfortable leaving Yeah, we each have our option. And that’s the only thing that we can control from that. Now, the way to kind of become more central into this piece and get away from those extremes is to start opening up your perceptions to the possibility that the earth is round. So the possibility that you know what the other side may have some good ideas, to the possibility that they’re not the spawn of evil, that they might actually have some good people over there that are just trying to get by or make, help their family or help this country become better in their own way. If we can share openly our thoughts and listen, listen, to really understand versus listen to respond, because that’s all we’re doing right now, in the rare occasion that we actually shut up enough to listen to somebody else. We’re only doing it so we can say gotcha, that’s back was wrong, or I have a different fact or you are you are not, you’re crazy.


Ira Bowman  31:25

Well, we’re very nice people like me out there. I listen to both sides all the time. I’m not I’m not listening for the gotcha. Now. I know lots of people who do that. I’m not saying even if you said the majority of people, but I would be very cautious saying all people are just listening for for the gotchas, because there are people, look, it’s improved my life, I can be friends with Republicans and Democrats at the same time. It’s awesome. Because I don’t think any of them are evil. Now, I don’t agree with everybody on anything, I’m probably the weirdest person in the room. Because I have, like, I have philosophies that that go towards both parties. And I’m truly independent in my thinking, but, but a lot of people that I hang out with, can’t stand half the people that I like, like I can’t go to a place and hang out with all my friends together, because they can’t stand each other, they’ll fight.


Damon Pistulka  32:16

So let’s let’s let’s come back again, a little bit about this, I think you’ve covered some really good things here, Khan and Pete nyrA. And that is in. So if we’re going to embrace the diversity and other people, and we’re going to really be a positive force in this and are better at doing it. What are some of the things that we should be trying to do? And how can we be better at this?


Pete Alexander  32:46

Well, one thing I would think in addition to that, you know, the whole thing of respecting the others perception of the world. I know, for me, in any networking situation, I typically leave or stay completely away from talking about politics or religion. Because those, you’re asking for it, you really are. And it’s harder, you know, if you’re not well versed at respecting the other person’s opinion, their perception, their perception, it’s gonna provoke a negative emotion. And so you know, not bringing those up. You can you know, you can, there’s so many other conversations you can have, and then learning how to deflect or not provoke if someone else says, you know, he starts coming up with Oh, my god, did you see that debate last night or something like that? It’s like, Oh, yeah, you know, but then you ask another question to the person that is not political, let’s say, for example, that is something that I found is works really well, and it keeps the conversation civil, and you don’t have this issue, regardless of, you know, race, you know, religion, etc. It’s just a conversation.


Damon Pistulka  34:02

So it’s so it’s, if we’re going to be in this situation, that what you’re saying is you want to get the honors, to know the person before you talk about anything like that, if that even comes up.


Pete Alexander  34:16

Exactly. You want to build rapport, building rapport with somebody, if you have good rapport with somebody, that that relationship is going to be able to withstand something that comes up better than if you just meet somebody for the first time. And you go right into something conflict. confrontational Oh,


Ira Bowman  34:38

yeah, that’s true for


Andrew Cross  34:42

Yeah. Troy niehaus was commenting too about we’re kind of off the track on diversity, which is where it breaks.


Damon Pistulka  34:50

I don’t think we are necessarily that’s that’s why I wanted to wait but i think


Andrew Cross  34:56

you know, that you know, but how we how we interact with each other, this is kind of, you know, honors getting different points of view. But


Kon Apostolopolous  35:05

can I bring it back for a second into that topic? Because when I do diversity and inclusion workshops as a big part of what I offer, one of the places where I start when I have people sitting around the table is I have them do a simple exercise. I asked them to identify, what five things do you have in common as a starting point. And then, at the table, I said, Okay, fine. Now, five things for each of you that nobody else has that are unique about you. And I can guarantee you every single time, it’s a lot easier to find things in common than it is to find things that are different. That’s a great point. And through this exercise, people uncover very, very quickly that you know, what, we have so many things in common, that bring us together. Yeah, the things that make us unique, are what makes us special. And part of what creates that richness that tapestry, that Mosaic, that is a high performing team that allows us now to go back in and say, You know what, I love that IRA brings that fire in his belly. I love the calmness that Professor Pete brings to the table into our team. I love the fact that they miss asking the tough questions. I love that Andrew is trying to make sure that everybody is included. Now all of a sudden, I look at that situation around and I have a diverse team. Because diversity comes in many shapes and sizes. Some of it is obvious. It’s what we call the primary level of diversity, where it’s the obvious things that things that I can see whether it’s my gender, it’s my skin color, my eye color, whatever it is my race, these are things that are obvious that I can see. But there are so many things that are secondary and tertiary differences. I mean, I look like the average middle aged white guy, right. But I grew up in a situation where I’m first generation immigrant here. I was born to first generation immigrants. And I understand that immigrant story, and I understand how that works. In many ways, I’ve been in environments where I’m the only one from my race, or I’ve operated for example, in HR and training, which is a female dominated world being the only guy in there. I get it, what it’s like to be in those kind of weird situation.


Ira Bowman  37:21

Let me jump in real quick. So the thing that you just talked about the diversity, the issue, right now, I think part of what’s adding to this is the fact that it’s not always male versus female, it’s not always white versus black. It’s not always democrat versus Republican. It’s not always, you know, Christian versus Muslim, or whatever. It could be any of those things at any given moment. We talk about, you know, diversity, I come from a Jewish family. So sometimes I am a minority, in some ways in other ways, I’m a white male, and I’m in the majority, I’m the hated person in the room, you know what I mean? So part of part of diversity and inclusion is what


Damon Pistulka  38:04

it will be supercharged


Ira Bowman  38:06

for you may not be the thing that supercharged for the other person. And I think where the problems come in into it, Pete, Professor Pete was talking about, he avoids religion. And he avoids politics, because those tend to be more supercharged areas than others. But I’m going to tell you, like even just going back to the mask, or go to male versus female or black lives matter or any of those things, any of those can be a supercharged, and we get to supercharge people on the opposite sides. That’s where the that’s where the


Damon Pistulka  38:39

fight happens. 100% 100%. And you know, what, I think that came out of this for me here that you just talked about Khan is I want to I wanted to talk about things that we can do. And we are and it’s really cool that you’re bringing that up. All right, the two supercharged people. What I’ve learned from this so far, is that rather than jumping right in and going, Oh, I hate those mass you talk to them about Hey, Ira. What? Tell me something about yourself? Yeah, well, what’s the, you know, what, what do you want to do? So this, this is


Ira Bowman  39:16

going to help you in the diversity, but it’s also going to help you in business? Yeah, right. So that whole adage, they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Like, if you want to build your network, if you want to be better at whatever it is that you’re doing in life in business, and your personal life. We should start there. I love the concept five, five things that you have in common. If you set out to find ways to get along, you will get along and if you set out to find ways to disagree, you will disagree. Because as my dad said, a million billion zillion times to me as a kid, whether you think you can or you think you can’t. You’re absolutely right. So what mindset do you start today out with Are you looking for trouble? Cuz if you’re looking for trouble, dude, you’re gonna find it. Yeah, if you need to get along, you can get along.


Damon Pistulka  40:07

Yeah, you know,


Ira Bowman  40:08

even Mike O’Connor, former MMA guy, big dumb dummy can get along with anybody who wants or can get in the ring and fight with anybody who wants, but he determines the outcome before it even starts in most cases, and you guys can you guys can verify the data and the science behind that if you’d like, but I’m telling you your attitude, yeah, it makes all the difference. That’s a great


Pete Alexander  40:33

course. And it’s, it’s a good point that you make IRA, you know, for me, and for most of the people that that I’ve worked with, I re emphasize gratitude as a beginning of the day, and at the end of the day, and if we can start the day with something that we’re grateful for, and you know, like Khan saying five things that you’re that you have in common, but if you can come up with five things, either in the morning or in the evening, things that you’re grateful for. It has an enormous effect on attitude. Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s really powerful. I mean, even if you’re struggling in your work, right now, if you force yourself to come up with five things, you know, maybe it’s paying the bills, it’s given me the health insurance, you know, these kind of things, that all of a sudden, you start telling yourself these positives, you are much less likely to be looking for provocation with someone else.


Damon Pistulka  41:39

Yeah. And it’s right, you can find it if you’re looking for it. You know, that, and I want I so there’s a that’s one of the things I think that you know, there’s been a few things here that I think are pretty good. And we’re going to wrap up here in a couple minutes is that, you know, if you want to really try to be better at this, seek to understand, go into it with an attitude of I want to understand, and I want to embrace and learn, and really try to try to be better about this. And try to find common things before you before you even move into the others and seek the commonality and then the understanding and then maybe you can have a discussion about it, or at least you’ll understand it better. I don’t know. Yeah,


Ira Bowman  42:27

I will. I will tell you a secret. If you really want to come down. Again, I suggest back off some of the media input that just this off from the total media, right, just not 100% walk away but reduce the intake, but also what Pete said, which I love counter passings, right, another thing that we teach our children to find things that you like, in the people you’re disagreeing with. So if you hate Nancy Pelosi, because you’re Republican, or you hate Donald Trump, because you’re liberal, right? Find something that you like, and Nancy Pelosi, like give her a compliment, or find something that I can Trump, you know, it will be tough for you to do. But at that mental exercise, if you start to do that, find things that you like, appreciate respect, in the opposite point of view, you will find that that will help to open your mind to


Kon Apostolopolous  43:21

Yeah, I read your point, though, to kind of wrap that, that part of it up, you cannot be as mad at somebody if you don’t dehumanize them. And that’s part of what unless you bring it back to the point where you start seeing them as another human being with their own faults and strengths. Then then that takes away that edge. It takes away your your permission to dehumanize and to treat people that way. But ultimately, I mean, when I work with high with high end athletes with with high performing athletes. I look at that, and I say you know what all of the greats have it what you think you become, than what you become you put out there what you put out there you attract. And it’s that kind of cycle that goes through that. That’s where the power of the mind really comes into things. If I want to see bigotry, if I see isolation if I see hate, I become that I put that out there. More I spread that more than I can spread Coronavirus right now that no mass is going to stop that. Because that just goes out if I put love and kindness and dignity out there. You know what and a sense of wanting to listen to people that comes back? That’s the gratitude that Professor Pete talks about. If I think gratitude, I am grateful. I’ve become positive and that comes back to me out there. I find more things because my mind now is trained to zero in on the positives, not the negatives.


Damon Pistulka  44:45

Yeah. So Ron, Ron, you wanted to come up so I What?



Yeah. On top of the discussion.


Kon Apostolopolous  44:54

He just wanted to show up.


Ron Higgs  44:56

Yeah. Yeah, that’s a zoom background. Don’t worry about it.



All great points, good discussion. The only thing I’d like some folks to realize is that you know, you can seek to understand, but there are some perspectives that you will never understand. I am not a woman so I do not I will never know what it’s like to carry another human being. Yeah, my body be pregnant. And I will never know some of the things that the you know, how women feel in the workplace, you know, things like that. Yeah, I don’t know, I just know that they’re expensive experience is different from mine. Same thing I shared with you guys before. And I’m going to share it again, you know, as a black man in America, right? You guys picture this, right? I am driving my car, or my car has the driver side window. Does it work? Now? What do you think about that driver’s side window of your car doesn’t work. You’re like, Okay, I gotta get that fixed for me. I that could potentially put me in a life threatening situation. You know what I’m saying? Rachel, I can’t roll down the driver side window in my car, I get pulled over by the cops. So now I can’t pull roll down my window. What if I open my door? You know, I’m going to get hurt, right? So I would literally take a day off for work and get that fixed immediately. So my experience to America is different from yours. You know why? Because I’ve been yanked out of a car thrown to the ground and have a gun pulled on me for speeding. Right. And yeah, I was speeding, and I wasn’t going to like six miles an hour, or something like that. Right? So my journey through America is different than yours. Right? So I’d like you to realize is that my journey is different. Right? And there are some things that you’re just not going to understand, just appreciate the fact that mine is different. So for underrepresented groups, right? This is the same topic, right? For people that are under represented right? Before under represented need allies. So in other words, by definition, under representation means they’re not always going to be around. So if there’s a group of guys around something, something’s being said, by women about women, that isn’t right, then somebody’s got to stand up and go, That’s not right. Right. We’re not going to tolerate that same thing. You know, there’s a group of old white guys around and somebody says something about, you know, somebody makes some derogatory term about Latin people, black people, you know, whatever it may be, right? You have to be the one that turns around and says, No, that’s not going to be tolerated. Because those people, those groups need allies, right? They need allies and mentors, right. So a little bit of a different conversation as far as diversity, but we all embrace diversity for what it brings. Right? And everybody said it in diversity of thought. Right? Yeah. How do you solve a problem? Right? as many diverse perspectives as possible, right. So that means Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, and you know, and Mike,


Ira Bowman  47:56

and Mike, rip.



realize that this is something, some perspectives that you’re just not going to understand. Yeah, that’s a good point. And I appreciate. And I’m jealous topic, and everyone’s points here. They’ve all been really great. And thanks for bringing me up.


Damon Pistulka  48:19

Thank Thank you, Ryan.


Ira Bowman  48:22

Margarita on camera. Appreciate that. Some Yeah. Yep.


Andrew Cross  48:30

I like what, what Ron was saying, though, you know, you’d never really understand it the other perspective or you know, that experience, but he appreciates it. Right? You know, he does, he does at least recognize that that’s, that’s a big thing. You know, that? Yeah, we’re losing a lot of


Ira Bowman  48:48

after I talked to Ron on my show about that, and actually had Sabrina Smith on my show. She’s an African American woman. And she was talking about, you know, just walking down the street, you see some police officers. And for me, I keep walking without even ever thinking about it. And she has to decide, do I turn around and go back to across the street? Or do I keep going because she doesn’t know how they’re gonna react? Yeah, I’ve never had to think about that there are I think this is where seeking a diversity of friends. And again, I’ll go back to you know, the media that we consume, and only listening to what you are your proclivity is or trying to open it up. It’s the same thing to me, right? So if you if you will open up your sphere, and allow more people in that diversity, and have conversations that are not supercharged, but are just seeking to understand them in a whole variety of ways. Because it could be like, Look, you may not know anybody else in your life has been homeless before, but I have, so I can tell you about that experience and how awful it is from firsthand experience. Now, my homelessness was not for years, like some people that you meet will be in homeless for years. They’re gonna have a whole different experience than me. Anyways, it comes from what Kant said, treating people like people, and don’t allow people to be dehumanized to just a political point, or Yeah, or a quality a trait that they have. Whether that be you know, the people like me and Andrew who are gifted follically, or the people like Pete and I who are gifted, aesthetically right, we’re beautiful, you know, or whatever, the sensitive people in the room, which I’m clearly not one of them. But open up your perspectives differ. Yeah, don’t forget humor, if you want to know why I make as many jokes as I do is because I’m trying to build rapport with you. Honestly, 100% I am trying to build rapport with you. Now. You’ve all seen it, I can, I can stand my ground. I can debate intellectually a point. And you’ve also hopefully seen me not get pissed off and use profanities, just because you don’t agree with me. Right? So try to maintain that civility, and no way, like, be smart about it have a strategy? You know, I’m just going to avoid these conversation topics for now. Because I know they’re supercharged. I’m not going to get up on LinkedIn live and start debating people on the validity of wearing a cloth mask. No, I have cloth masks, I’m not saying there’s no reason to ever wear them. But I wear this to appease other folks, not for my own safety. Like, basically, when you see me wearing a cloth mask, it’s because I think I don’t need a mask at that moment. But I’m appeasing the general public. When I when I think I need a mask, I’m wearing my n 95.


Damon Pistulka  51:33

Yeah. So Andrew, we, once again, we’re getting to the time so we can get back to the tables here shortly and let everyone Hey, I want to thank everyone again, for a good discussion. And, and, you know, I’ve learned a lot, and I hope that it leaves people got to talk about some things that were important to them. You know, I like the idea of fine and five things in common before you start talking about differences. I like the idea of the humor, and seeking to understand and using gratitude so that we can be you know, even if you can only agree that you’re you’re grateful both sides are grateful to be able to debate like this in a free, free free nation, or free situation. And you know, you have to be the one that sets the you know, that step rises above. Because if you get into that looking for looking for the the conflict, it’ll, it’ll find you. And that’s a few things that I got from today. But Andrew, Thanks so much guys and gals. And Jill, Jennifer had to leave but we have Jill and we have Kathy in here a new new attendee. Go ahead, Andrew. And Ron’s back. Yeah.


Andrew Cross  52:48

Great, pretty good wrap up there. Anyway. So I think we’re going back to the tables, you know, great conversation. I think that I didn’t have any issue. I mean, I understood what this group of people is that everybody here is interested in, in looking and understanding the other side, you know, and and yet gets charged good. energized by that that’s, you know, it’s one of the that’s why we’re here doing this, and it’s, it’s great. And I think I learned something there to just, yeah, Pete some great points on on how to, you know, bring it down and understand the other side. We’re all Americans, you know, and then, you know, sometimes it just has to get worse before it gets better. But I think that’s kind of a situation where Apple, we’re recognizing we have a problem, and that’s the next step is we’ll go for Anyways, thanks all. All right, Damon


Damon Pistulka  53:41


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