Sonya Thomas lcsw

Viewpoint Diversity – Part 5

Here is a summary of the take-aways from step 5 of the Open Mind app:

  • We can engage in constructive disagreement by seeking to learn, rather than to be right. The key to constructive disagreements is mastering the language of the elephant (automatic, intuitive thinking).
  • Sometimes, our automatic thoughts (generated by our elephants) aren’t accurate, and these cognitive distortions can cause negative feelings. Our riders can rein in our elephants by examining our initial thoughts, and—over time—training them to be more accurate
  • We can also hone our ability to communicate effectively with other people by focusing on their elephants. We can: respect their elephants (don’t criticize people or make them feel stupid); understand their elephants (learn about what other people care about and why); and appeal to their elephants (convey your thoughts in a language that will resonate with them).

In order to keep practicing constructive disagreement, you can try these life hacks:

  • In the next 24 hours, try to avoid directly attacking someone’s ideas.
  • In the next 24 hours, whenever you disagree with someone, try asking “why do you believe that?” until you understand the root of their opinion.
  • In the next 24 hours, whenever you disagree with someone, acknowledge the views you have in common. When you present your views, try reframing your positions in a way that will connect with their moral foundations.

Stay tuned next time for a list of thought provoking reading material, links to useful websites, and recommendations for podcasts to further your understanding of viewpoint diversity.  Until then, peace.