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How to Have Impossible Conversations

A Very Practical Guide
Paperback Book
Hachette Books
September, 2019
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Publisher’s Description: 

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 reasonable conversation with anyone who has a different opinion. Dialogue shuts down when perspectives clash. Heated debates on Facebook and Twitter often lead to insults and shaming, blocking any possibility of productive discourse. Everyone seems to be on a hair-trigger. How to Have Impossible Conversations guides readers through the process of having effective discussions across moral and political divides -- whether the issue is climate change, religious faith, gender identity, race, poverty, immigration, or 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. Boghossian and Lindsay cover everything from the fundamentals for good conversations to expert- and master-level techniques to deal with hardliners and extremists. This book is the manual everyone needs to foster a climate of civility, connection, and empathy.

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