Advice from the Public Conversations Project on having critical conversations on challenging issues
As our nation attempts to make sense of the tragic shooting in Tucson, it is easy to portion out blame and accountability. Even easier is avoiding conversations with those who hold views different from our own. These patterns shut down communication and, in a charged atmosphere, can quickly lead to polarized conflict, when what most people truly seek is healing and a path forward.
The Public Conversations Project is committed to encouraging and enabling difficult conversations. We believe that moving away from accusatory statements and instead asking curious questions of those with different values or views can create a shift in communication and allow true insights to emerge. Whatever meaning you make of this devastating event, the resources below can help in the building of constructive conversations with those who make different meaning.
Some Helpful Resources from PCP:
- Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project
- Constructive Conversations for Challenging Times: A Guide to Community Dialogue
- Eleven Ideas for Making a Hard Conversation Work
- Guidelines for Facilitators
- Anatomy of Two Conversations: A cartoon