#301 A Holiday Survival Guide for Difficult Conversations | Bill Doherty
What to do if you find yourself marooned at your Thanksgiving meal, facing a voluble uncle who is spewing political ideas you find abominable? Our guest today is overstuffed (see what I did there?) with practical ideas. I first met Bill Doherty several years ago, when I was doing a story for Nightline about a group called Braver Angels. The group was formed in the aftermath of the 2016 election, with the idea of bringing reds and blues together to create some mutual understanding and trust. As I watched the man moderating these seemingly incredibly successful discussions (ie no shouting, no rote recitations of slogans), I was really impressed. I later learned that he was both a marriage counselor and a meditator. So I invited him to come on the show. In this conversation, we discuss: why trying to change people’s minds or get them to abandon their core values is unlikely to be a winning strategy; the value of sticking with so-called “I” statements; and how to reach what he calls “accurate disagreement.” Please note: this interview was recorded before most of the tumultuous events of 2020, but it remains immovably relevant.
Where to find Bill Doherty online:
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Qigong practice
- Discernment counseling
- “Better angels”, Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address
- Essential Partners (Public Conversations Project)