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Stop trying to convince people you’re right — it will never persuade anyone: expert

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A Trump supporter threatens to burn down Revolution Books in Berkeley, California (Screen cap).

MSNBC host Joshua Johnson noted that this year has been full of strife, with Americans having a lot to stand up about. Whether the slaying of unarmed Black men and police brutality, or healthcare, and the coronavirus, Americans are lining up to protest.

Johnson asked if people try to start tough conversations, how do they keep it productive, and when it’s time to give up. In her book, We Need to Talk, Celest Headlee explains tools that people can use to have productive conversations about tough issues that help move the needle.

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“Keep in mind that a protest isn’t a conversation, right?” she first began. “That’s a different kind of communication. The first thing is that our goal in conversations is not always a productive one. In other words, oftentimes, we go into these conversations hoping to change somebody’s mind or convince them that they are wrong. You’re just never going to accomplish that. There’s no evidence. We haven’t been able to — through years and years of research we haven’t been able to find evidence that over a conversation somebody said, ‘You’re right, I was completely wrong.’ You’ve convinced me. So, we have to stop trying to do that. We have to find a new purpose for those conversations.”

In her 2016 TED talk, Hadlee makes the case that people who disagree should talk to each other more often, but letting it devolve into an accusatory mess isn’t helping anyone. Truly listening to what people think and feel is what often changes minds.

“I personally think that the best purpose for a conversation is to try and listen,” said Johnson. “Where do you think most people would do better in terms of their purpose for a tough conversation?”

“I mean, yes,” she agreed. “If you’re listening, then you’re learning from the other person, and we always have something to learn. Sometimes we forget that. The other thing is if we find some kind of commonality, that means we have a chance at creating an empathic bond. Empathic bonds to change hearts and minds. They do it over time. It’s rarely an epiphany that strikes somebody like lightning. Creating that common bond with another, finding the things you do at least agree on, even if it’s tacos or dogs, that’s sometimes enough.”

Johnson quipped that he doesn’t want to talk to any person that doesn’t like dogs.

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It’s an argument that many have made, but those who disagree argue that it’s impossible to “listen” or “understand” a racist, as an example. But it’s a tactic that Blues singer Daryl Davis employed for over three decades as he moved 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan to give up their robes.

See the interview below and Hadlee’s other videos:

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Hadlee’s TED Talks:

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2020 Election

Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows committed campaign finance crimes: watchdog group

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The government ethics watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Friday accusing White House chief of staff Mark Meadows of campaign finance crimes for allegedly spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including clubs, gourmet cupcakes, a jeweler in Washington and lodging at the president's hotel.

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2020 Election

Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell

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With poll numbers staying put and the odds of a Joe Biden win in Tuesday's election looking good — possibly by a decisive margin — there's mounting dread about how Donald Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with the emotional control of a — well, I won't insult toddlers with the comparison — and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He's already made clear that he will refuses to concede, no matter what, and he's grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.

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2020 Election

GOP senator offended LDS community after likening Trump to a ‘selfless’ Book of Mormon hero: report

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Politics and religion are colliding out west after comments a Republican senator made while stumping for the president.

"Sen. Mike Lee drew criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week after comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni, a heroic and selfless figure in the Book of Mormon," The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening.

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