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Leadership Unfiltered: Real Talk, Big Topics | L.A. Tribune TV

Leadership Unfiltered | L.A. Tribune TV with Jessica Abo
In a recent episode of Leadership Unfiltered, Jessica Abo sits down with Sonni Abatta, the founder of We Gotta Talk.

Jessica Abo: Sonni, tell us a little bit about your platform.

We Gotta Talk is a digital platform. It’s a podcast and a website, and our motto is Real Talk,
Big Topics. I have a background in news, so it’s been my passion to bring people up to speed on what’s happening in the world, but make it simple and give more nuance and time to these issues than traditional media. I talk about everything from what’s happening in the world, and that can involve politics, geopolitics, war, big spiritual issues, all the way down to more approachable, easy lifestyle things. The one common thread is that it’s always a deep dive and there’s always some nuance to the discussion. What I hope we do is give people enough information to consider angles that they haven’t before, especially on some of these hot button topics.

For the leaders who are listening to this, what’s your advice on how they can bring people together? Can they bring people together around really divisive issues?

My rule of thumb is to talk about them. I believe it’s our obligation, especially living in this country with the privilege we have of free speech and allowing ourselves the time to digest and take in what’s happening in the world. I think we owe ourselves, and we owe the rest of the world, to really confront these things and understand that no one is asking you to take a position, but give time to these things. If you’re anticipating that you might disagree with someone you love on a really hot button issue, which has happened to me before, I always suggest this one tip that I heard: Rather than ask people that you might disagree with, “why do you think that,” which could put them on the defensive, ask, “how did you come to feel how you feel on this?” I think softening our approach when we discuss these big issues with people we love is imperative because the end result is to find points of commonality so that we can move forward and not to activate people to shut down in a conversation. That’s one thing that I do in my personal life and on the show. I approach these big topics with a “tell me more” attitude, leading with curiosity and I find that almost 100 % of the time, what you get is a civilized confidence. While it might not necessarily change your mind, it does open your eyes to things you might not have seen before.

I think that’s a really interesting perspective. Where is We Gotta Talk headed?

In 2024, We Gotta Talk is going to bring in a lot of “regular people” into the conversations, hopefully introducing some, what we call in the news, industry man on the street opinions on some of the big topics that I’m also covering with experts. Professionally speaking, I would also love to grow this platform into a network that represents like-minded people who believe that more talk and more digging in is necessary to move forward with some sense of unity and understanding.

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