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Reflections: Discussion and Pot Luck

  • 04/28/2019
  • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Bob Morris' House

Topic: Civil conversations

There is much talk these days about having civil conversations, but little real progress.  What is a civil conversation?  We often invoke parliamentary rules like Robert’s rule of order, but these rules often favor those who understand them, can manipulate them to their advantage, and have training in rhetorical skills.  Others who are less verbal and skilled in rhetoric feel shutout, ignored, and marginalized.   What is a good model for a civil conversation that includes a bit of emotion, some verbal stumbling, and minimizes political manipulation?  Does great literature or theater offer a better model?  Should we allow a story format in addition to the linear facts statements?  How should we handle anger and frustration release?  Waving our finger and demanding self control often escalates rather than deescalates the situation.  Can you think of a model that keeps a semblance of order, yet allows people to vent out their frustration in a controlled and beneficial manner?

Please bring the usual pot luck, and Bob will provide some drinks and paper dinnerware. If you have strong legs, please park at the bottom of the driveway so others have less of a climb.

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