A Really Simple Way to Disagree and Still Get Along
BY Laura Montini
Liberal pundit Sally Kohn explained how she worked for Fox News, an environment where almost everyone always thought she was wrong.
If anyone can speak about the difficulties of dissonance in the workplace, it's political commentator Sally Kohn.
"I am a progressive lesbian talking-head on Fox News," Kohn said during her TED talk released online today. (Kohn was with Fox when her talk was recorded, but has since left the network to become a free agent.)
Kohn said her work environment was such that her co-workers "literally want to obliterate everything I believe in." How did she survive this type of workplace for 2 years? By using, what she called, the most important tool she's learned -- emotional correctness.
"Emotional correctness is the tone, the feeling. How we say what we say. The respect and compassion we show one another," Kohn said.
One of the people whom she admires most is also one of the people with whom she most disagrees: her conservative colleague Sean Hannity, host of Hannity, one of the network's most popular prime-time news programs. Kohn said he's one of the sweetest people she knows.
"I think Sean Hannity is 99 percent politically wrong, but his emotional correctness is strikingly impressive. And that's why people listen to him," Kohn said. "Because you can't get anyone to agree with you if they don't even listen to you first."
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco. @lmmontini