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How to Have Effective Conversations

This post is adapted from healthebiker.com. When we’re faced with differing opinions, we feel like others are challenging our identity. Money Island has long been a focal point in the differences between individuals and government and differences between users of different backgrounds and interests. Yet we’ve also made significant progress in addressing these differences and look forward to more of this ahead. So first off, do what you can to make sure your conversational partner feels respected. 

Tip 1: Listen to Understand, Not Respond

Most of the time when we argue, we listen to respond. If you’re planning your response while the other person talks, you’re listening to respond. 
Instead, let your conversational partner finish their point. Then repeat their ideas to show you’re listening. Most likely, this action will catch them off guard. When people feel listened to and respected, they’re more likely to reciprocate.

Tip 2: Do an Activity

It’s easier to have hard conversations if there’s something we can do to distract ourselves. So when you want to talk politics, find something else to do too. Go Fishing. Go to a bar and play pool. Enjoy the health benefits of a boat ride. The point is, find a way to stay busy. Let the conversation have natural lulls and pauses. Incorporating an activity makes this easier.

Tip 3: Start With the Similarities Between Us

There are a lot of similarities between us, whether democrats and republicans. Here are a few of them. At the very least, there are some political topics where we already share similar footing. 
Both democrats and republicans are worried about our deteriorating fisheries. They’re also worried about the rising cost of enjoying the bay. Try starting your conversation with questions on common interests like “What do you think would be the best way to restore our fish stocks?” Then hear your conversational partner out. Pick some points you agree on, and share your thoughts. 
By starting on similar ground, you’re more likely to have a friendly, open conversation.

Tip 4: Don’t Try to Change Minds, But Promote Discussion

Of course, you want to get someone else to share your beliefs. That’s human nature. But remember they share the same desire. When you talk politics, don’t try to change their opinion. 
Try to understand where they’re coming from. This will make you more informed about your own opinions, and it will open more space where we can share our ideas.

Tip 5: Planning A Meetup

Once public gathering restrictions are lifted and people feel safe, Money Island has a long history of hosting community get togethers. We plan to make the most of it.