This clip of Beto O’Rourke has been making the rounds on Social Media. Politics aside (and I think you know where I stand on such things) — it is a great example of communicating and collaborating. There is a lot in this response that I really appreciate. I think it is one of the best examples of responding with empathy and communicating with stories that I have seen in a while.

Below is a quick annotation of my favorite points.

0:13 Beto O’Rourke, listens and nods acknowledging the question.

0:28 Thanks the questioner, honestly and sincerely

0:33 Acknowledges that it is a difficult topic (read: emotional and polarizing).

0:35 Repeats the question concisely – confirming that he has heard the full question.

0:54 Confirms a shared value, i.e. respect for those who have served in the military

0:58 I love the short answer. It’s clear, direct and honest.

1:07 Reiterates his respect for people on both sides of the issue.

1:20 I love that he reiterates that we are all on the same team (American) — and can still disagree. As someone who is craving respect and civility in public discourse, I am 100% here for that. Divisiveness only benefits those currently in power.

1:46 Compassionate and consciously Beto starts to bring in the stories of the counter POV – i.e. the experiences of black folks

2:02 “The young girls who dies in the church bombing” — man that KILLS me.

2:26 “dragged out by their collar at the Woolworth lunch counter” — as a story teller – details are key in evoking the image of other people’s stories.

2:33 Beto connects both sides – THROUGH military service.

3:15 After providing a history lesson – connects that back to the REAL protest.

3:30 “They are frustrated with people like me” – Wow I love the personal responsibility there!

3:35 “frustrated by those in positions of public trust and power.” — I think we ALL can relate to that sentiment!