Whether you’re in a classroom, an office, a town hall — or just hoping to get through a family dinner with a stubborn relative — here is a guide to having effective, civil discussions about today’s most divisive issues.
In our current political climate, it seems impossible to have a civil conversation with someone who has a different opinion. Dialogue is shut down when perspectives clash. Heated debates on Facebook and Twitter often lead to shaming, hindering any possibility of productive discourse. How to Have Impossible Conversations guides readers through the process of having effective, civil discussions about any divisive issues — not just religious faith but climate change, race, gender, poverty, immigration, and gun control.
Coauthors Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay distinguish between two types of conversations: those that are oriented toward arriving at truth, and those that may require changing the beliefs of people who do not want their beliefs changed (interventions). They then guide readers through the straightforward, practical, conversational techniques necessary for every successful conversation, up to expert- and master-level techniques to deal with hardliners and extremists. With key principles like the “Seven Fundamentals Necessary for Good Conversations,” this book is the manual everyone needs to foster connection and empathy with anyone.