Levelling way up
If you've made it here you've already had 1 or more conversations about the referendum - great work!
Use this page so you can continue to upgrade your skills and have even more empowering conversations.
by Julia Galef
How can we approach new information, people we disagree with, with curiosity instead of hostility? How can we engage people we disagree with morally with nuance? Julia Galef has some insight for us.
Watch: The power of believing that you can improve by Carol Dweck
We need to redefine what success looks like and how we get there.
This teaches us a new way to approach difficulty when we encounter it, how we can learn to say “not yet” instead of “never” so we can plant seeds of change, and how we can escape the binary trap of success and failure.
Difficulty, discomfort, are good - they are where we grow - and the only way change is going to happen is if we get a little uncomfortable. So how this helps us with difficult conversations is that we can reframe them as a process, not an end goal - and not something to win.
When we believe that change is possible, that is what makes it actually attainable. We change, other people can change, the world can change - if we let it.
How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal
If we let it, stress can actually be a good thing and we can use it to our advantage. If we re-see stress and difficult conversations as opportunities for growth, it changes everything.
It’s how we react to challenging situations that matters - but we can change how we interact with them, which will ultimately change our outcomes - for the better.
Extra: In the happy secret to better work by Shawn Achor, we learn that how we interpret challenges is predictive of 75% of our success. Being happy, and even playful, leads to better problem solving.
That's it! Now you should be a conversating pro.
We hope these resources have you feeling prepared to talk to as many people as possible about the referendum.
If you'd like to take the next step, check out our group guides linked below or our more information page on how you get more involved with the conversations project.
Extra resources: a treasure trove for democracy & dialogue
Amnesty International has also created a conversation resource for this referendum, check it out here.
“A conversation is an opportunity for people to ask questions and raise concerns about what repeal of the Eighth will mean for individuals, families, and communities. These are real concerns. Listening and responding to questions and concerns is a powerful way to contribute to the campaign. These conversations shouldn’t be seen as a debate to be won. As the initiator of a conversation, you offer yourself as a listening ear and a resource.”
Six Habits of Highly Empathic People by Roman Krznaric
We can cultivate empathy throughout our lives, says Roman Krznaric - and use it as a radical force for social transformation.
5 ways to listen better by Julian Treasure
New York Times article: How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation
More from Aspen Baker and her group Exhale: Pro-Voice Abortion Conversations at the Table - A Story Sharing & Listening Guidebook
Living Room Conversations, a group committed to building bridges across divides on tough issues, has a page for helpful extras.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
“Emotions aren't the obstacles, they're the means.” An unlikely hero of empathy, Chris Voss was America’s top FBI hostage negotiator for over 20 years, dealing with the world’s scariest and most impossible situations. What did, as Chris says, the “meatheads” at the FBI realize to be the most effective tools for communication? Unbelievably, their strategies for the highest stakes negotiations now focus on active listening and understanding emotions.
Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit
A logical argument for hope in incredibly uncertain times.
More from Brene Brown on listening to shame and how to find our way out of blaming so we can begin to constructively criticise, “Blame has an inverse relationship with accountability. Accountability by definition is a vulnerable process.”
The Forgiveness Project works on mapping the myriad of different ways that forgiveness can manifest, and how this radical act is a necessary alternative to hammering away at hate. If we are to find our way out of shame and blame, we need to see forgiveness as a rigorous process and that it is not a one-dimensional passive concept. The Forgiveness Project has banks of powerful stories, the many themes of forgiveness (including being curious), and a toolbox.
On Being’s Civil conversations guide
In 2014, Innovating Education in Reproductive Health provided a free “massive open online course” educating the public about abortion from a public health perspective.