The Lost Art of Civil Discourse

How do you slow down and listen to others in a world where you just want to be heard? In this episode, Kevin Geer and Justin Stewart give tools to know how to start, engage in, and finish a conversation when you disagree in a civilized way.

LifeNGeer 110 | The Lost Art of Civil Discourse

1. We are going to be friends/family at the end.
2. We will hug to start and hug to end (not a hugger…high five).
3. The topics discussed are not the end of the world.

How to have civil discourse:
๏ Avoid personal attacks.
๏ Address the ideas, not the person.
๏ Listen to learn, not to talk.
๏ Listen to learn, not to convince.
๏ Listen to learn because you care.
๏ Watch your tone.
๏ Before sharing your opinion, ask questions about their opinion.
๏ Value their opinion even if you disagree.
– They will not listen if you devalue their opinion.
How to say what you want to say?
๏ State your thoughts not as truth but as opinion.
๏ It is not discoverable when stated as truth.
– The person only has one response to be right or wrong when you state it as truth.
๏ Sharing your opinion the same way but louder does not make it more convincing.
๏ Emphasize the things you agree on when you find them. Point them out.
๏ Point out weaknesses in your argument.
๏ Have the courage to say, “I don’t know.”
– It creates trust in the conversation.
๏ Don’t be absolute on things that are not absolute.
๏ It is good to agree to disagree and smile about it.
๏ Be curious.
๏ Be careful of qualifying everything you are going to say.

4 Rules to know discourse is coming to an end:
1. When I am personally attacked, I recognize it is coming to an end.
2. When no new facts are coming to the surface, we are just spinning.
3. When I don’t feel I am being heard.
– If I am putting my best effort into listening but not being heard.
4. Celebrate the points you agree on.

๏ Practice Practice Practice
– Practice with a friend or family member.
– Practice the conversation in your head. Looking at both sides.
๏ Realize some people are not equipped to engage in civil discourse.