By: Amelia Costigan
How do you start a meaningful dialogue with someone with a different political view, from a different country, or with a religious belief different from your own? What can we possibly have in common? It’s getting harder and harder to talk with people, especially people who are different from you. How can we bridge those divides and start those conversations?
Here are 5 communication tips you can follow today to start a productive conversation, find common ground, and take the first step to building a more inclusive world.
– Tip 1: Engage in Dialogue, Not Debate
The goal is shared learning, not winning an argument or debate.
– Tip 2: Be OK With A Little Bit of Discomfort
Acknowledge that sharing different perspectives involves some risk and that it might feel uncomfortable.
– Tip 3: Assume Positive Intent
Embrace the idea that talking will lead to something good.
– Tip 4: Clarify
Don’t assume. Ask whether you are being understood and whether you understand the other person correctly.
– Tip 5: Be Willing to Admit Mistakes
Accept that you won’t always say the right thing. Honest communication is a skill to be developed.