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Press Release: Curious Conversations with Mónica Guzmán

June 14, 2024

To watch the full video, click above

How can we come together during these divided times?

“Curiosity is contagious,” stated Mónica Guzmán on Thursday, May 30th at Bainbridge Community Foundation’s LeadHERship discussion, which is an annual event hosted by BCF to honor female leaders in our community. “Research shows this,” she continued. "The only thing that unlocks somebody else is listening—not listening that is strategic, but listening that shows I’m actually interested in learning.”

Mónica Guzmán is the author of the book I Never Thought of it That Way, which is packed full of research about human behavior as well as strategies for how to better manage what we see as our differences. During the LeadHERship discussion, Mónica shared her own personal stories and tactics about how to stay curious and ask questions so we can focus our energy on being less divided. She talked about unearthing our human perspectives and asking questions such as “How did you get to believe what you believe? Why does this idea feel safe for me, but not for you?” She encouraged the audience to lean into their natural curiosity to truly understand how people arrive at their beliefs. 

Mónica explained that our opinions are often not choices, but they are built from years of various life experiences that shape who we are. While we may not agree on every issue, seeing each other as humans with diverse perspectives can actually work in our favor. "We are still building this country," Mónica stated. She described that Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson could never agree on anything, and they attacked each other in the press. But they still played a critical role in building the foundation of our democracy. Mónica explained, "we are a republic, and that was never about having a clean process."

Mónica’s hopeful message left the audience with practical steps towards having more curious conversations. As Mónica claimed, “No human being is a wall that is impossible to put a crack in.”

Dana Binnendijk with Bainbridge Community Foundation and Abirami Subramanian, who will be attending University of Washington in September, were the facilitators. The event was held at Bainbridge Performing Arts. To watch a recording of the event, click here.


“It is certainly a unique moment in how divided we feel. How divided we really are ideologically, I’m not so sure. When you look at the data, there is actually a ton of overlap on issues such as guns and immigration, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the discourse. The loudest voices tend to be on the extremes. We’re not even really sure what space to give more moderate voices anymore... But if you ask questions, some trust is built there.” - Mónica Guzmán

*Please note that certain quotes in this press release have been reorganized with permission from the speaker to enhance readability and flow, while accurately representing the speaker's original intent.*