When giving advice are you qualified to give your perspective based on past experiences? When you receive advice are you sure that the person speaking to you has gone through a similar situation in the past? If you answered yes to both these questions, you both have skin in the game. Skin the game means that you are the victim of the circumstances or consequence. The term skin in the game comes from a columnist William Safire but is famously used by Warren Buffet in the context of investment and finance. While the term is mostly used in the business world, we believe that this term can be applied to every aspect of life.

Having skin in the game in your personal life means knowing when your perspective is helpful based on your own experiences. For example, if you grew up in an upper middle class in upbringing in Dallas and want to express your perspective on the solutions to help alleviate poverty in Dallas it may be acknowledged but not helpful because it isn’t something you have personally gone through. If you asked someone on advice for which places to stay in Bali but that person has never been to Bali, you may acknowledge their perspective but may or may not find it helpful versus asking someone who has visited the area. When you are in these situations it may feel that your perspective may not be respected or acknowledged but most of the time it isn’t the case. What may be helpful when in these situations is to remind people that you may have not experienced “such and such” or “take it with a grain of salt” then share your perspective. That way it signals to them where you stand and helps create a  transparent dialogue between you and other parties.

It’s easy to not think about these factors when having a heated or engaging discussion. Everyone wants to be heard and validated in any discussion. A couple questions to consider in any conversation should be:

Have I gone through the situation being presented?

Am I currently in that situation?

If I don’t resonate, how can I still be engaged and provide thoughtful dialogue?

This may sound systematic but thinking about how you can contribute to the conversation before saying it aloud will be helpful in allowing you to see the “bigger picture” of the conversation.

Lots of love,

Jasmine and Phrieda

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