“But I don’t know if I want to talk to you”: Strategies for increasing conversational receptiveness in divided political times
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
During the past few years, political polarization is at a high level globally and in the United States. Engaging in dialogue with those who disagree with us on political issues requires conversational receptiveness and skills in having difficult conversations. Using the concepts of conversational receptiveness and conflict resilience, this lecture will address the need for having difficult conversations, as well as communication strategies that can be used to have those conversations within and across the political divide. It will emphasize the importance of creating and maintaining ethical communication practices which value the worth of another person, while being willing to interrupt narratives that can lead to intractable conflicts.
Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter is a Professor of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she serves as Department Chair of the Department of Applied Communication. She volunteers her time with Arkansas Braver Angels, as well as with the national Braver Angels organization. Dr. Chatham-Carpenter researches how dialogue can be used in the public square to create relationships between people. She believes it is very important to approach difficult dialogues with open hands and an open heart, emphasizing building relationships rather than demonizing those who disagree with us.