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WSP 132 — Civil Conversations: Techniques for Having Healthy, Productive Conversations in Uncivil Times

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Jul 29
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 22
Unit: 0
Tuition: $195
Instructor(s): Marianne Neuwirth
Limit: 30
Status: Open
On-campus course
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Jul 29
1 day
Drop By
Jul 22
0 Unit
Marianne Neuwirth
Are you feeling tense about the current national political climate? Are you afraid to introduce potentially divisive topics at lunchtime? Are you surprised by the questions and concerns that children bring up in response to what they are hearing and seeing? The discord in much of our current public life often leads to conversations that are predictable and banal. It can also inhibit genuine connection and our ability to be creative and solve problems together.

This workshop is designed to teach you techniques and strategies for having respectful and productive conversations, especially with those whose views and life experiences may differ from your own. Through structured activities, role plays, and candid conversations, we will engage with others on a level that does not overlook differences nor resolve issues of concern, but rather shifts the way those issues are talked about. We will practice ways of speaking, listening, and asking questions that diffuse tension, foster sincere curiosity, and open up conversations.

By the end of this workshop, you will be equipped to engage in challenging conversations with civility and grace, create space for the conflicting views of others, recognize your own and others’ legitimate interests, have an increased understanding of how to deal with strong emotions, learn ways to break the pattern of “us” versus “them” dynamics, and appreciate differences as enriching rather than problematic.

Due to its short format, this workshop may not be taken for Credit or a Letter Grade.

Marianne Neuwirth, Founder and Director, Oral Communication Programs, Menlo College; Communication Consultant

Marianne Neuwirth consults with international executives and with various departments at Stanford, teaching storytelling and conflict resolution, and training researchers on how to communicate their work publicly and conversationally in succinct and compelling ways. She received a PhD in communication from the University of Utah.