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“Bridging the Political Divide: Conversation Skills” A Better Angels Skills Workshop

From March 14, 2020 9:00 am until March 14, 2020 12:00 pm
Categories: Map Events
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Better Angels is a national nonprofit that has developed and pioneered concrete, structured practices for dialogue across political divides. Its leadership is half “red” and half “blue.” The First Universalist Peace Circle is hosting two Better Angels workshops at church this winter/spring. The Conversation Skills workshop is a prerequisite for the Red/Blue workshop offered in April (having attended another Better Angels skills workshop previously is also acceptable).

This workshop is offered twice: choose either February 22 or March 14

In our current polarized political environment, many people avoid or even dread political conversations with friends or family members whose politics differ from their own. They worry, rightly so, that any attempts at political discussions will devolve into arguments and acrimony, and result in hurt feelings or anger. In this interactive Better Angels workshop you will learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. Anyone interested in having better conversations with people on the other side of the political aisle will benefit from this workshop.

Goals

  • To learn about the perspectives, feelings, and experiences of someone who differs from you politically
  • To have a sense of satisfaction about how you conveyed your own perspective, feelings, and experiences
  • To discover some common ground, if it’s there

After a brief introduction and a discussion about what can go wrong in political discussions, participants in a skills workshop can expect to learn the following:

  • Tone setting skills
  • Listening skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Handling difficult moments

You will practice conversation skills in a pair with someone of your same political persuasion—red or blue. “Reds” lean conservative/libertarian and tend to vote Republican. “Blues” lean liberal/progressive and tend to vote Democratic. If you fall somewhere in the middle, you can choose a side for purposes of practicing the skills.


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