Disagreeing Productively

I’ve been pondering on the subject of disagreement.  We’ve done it throughout time; it’s a fact of life.  So what’s there to ponder about?

To be more specific, I’ve been considering how disagreeing has changed with the evolution of the digital world, the expansion of social media and our apparently heightened focus on the fear of offending.

Social platforms help individuals champion causes and achieve a global reach while simultaneously enabling online trolls to attack anyone who dares to disagree with their entrenched position.

Limited character counts, thumbs up or down and the widespread virtualisation of people can encourage extemely polarised opinions and have a dehumanising effect.

And what is this strange new-ish phenomenon of someone being offended on my behalf?!

With these thoughts in my mind, it was almost serendipitous that the email promoting Julia Dhar’s TED talk, Disagreeing Productively, appeared in my inbox.

In it she talks eloquently about how engaging with conflicting ideas requires us to first find common ground; no matter how small.  To achieve this shared reality we need to separate ideas from identity and be open to persuasion.

Ideas not identity… I’ll be using that again 😊

I enjoyed Julia’s talk for its clarity and humanness.  Searching for common ground is a positive constructive path and, despite the challenges it may bring, it is worth the effort.

Here’s Julia’s TED talk.  Enjoy!


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