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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:

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher is the Founding Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and also serves as a Research Deputy for the Kettering Foundation. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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