Facilitating Difficult Conversations

Editor’s note: At Provost’s Forum on October 19, 2022, Kristin Novotny, Chuck Bashaw, and Dave Mills presented a session on facilitating conversations about polarizing or difficult topics with students. They have kindly contributed their slides and resources to the CLT blog.

It can be hard to know how to address the degeneration of public discourse over the past several years. How do we start meaningful conversations when people are so polarized? Fortunately, we can learn a number of effective processes that incorporate the skills of dialogue and deliberation. These tools urge us not to just jump into conversation, but to be mindful of constructing the right container to turn a difficult conversation into a different conversation. Note: the last slide in this slideshow contains a variety of resources; to access them, simply scan the QR code into your phone.

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