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Practicing the Language of Civility - Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions

Identify and practice the language and mindset of civil discussion.

The facilitator guides participants through brainstorming and writing examples of words, phrases, comments and nonverbal conduct in each of the following categories. 

  1. Start by listing actions and nonverbal behaviors that demonstrate active listening.
  2. Write key words and phrases for each of the following:
  • Disagreeing agreeably.
  • Asking a clarifying question.
  • Adding to, or building on, what a previous speaker has said.
  • Acknowledging confusion and asking others to help you understand their views.
  • Stating agreement (not just disagreement) with a point made by another speaker.
  • Catching yourself when interrupting a speaker and allowing the speaker to finish.
  • Communicating and respecting emotions expressed directly and in a non-threatening way.
  • Graciously acknowledging and accepting negative and positive feedback.

What would you add?