Communicate Influence

What’s happened to civil discourse and how can we improve it?

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Shaking your head in dismay at the state of civil discourse is as common as putting salt on your food these days.

But apart from trying to be good communicators and encourage respect, most of us – me included – do little about the ugly exchanges between groups and individuals that could and should do better.

What’s wrong with civil discourse?

A lot. Too many of us engage with others without really listening, or even wanting to listen. Sometimes, people begin a conversation without any respect for another’s point of view.

And of course in the political arena, we’ve seen how ugly the civil discourse has become between politicians. Insults, lies, refusing to discuss mistakes or apologize, or not talking to the responsible media are all happening today.

Can we improve the conversation?

The good news is yes, we can. But it will likely take baby steps first. There are many levels of dialogue that are in need of repair – all the way from the individual level to the nation state. The damage is serious. Some even say democracy is at risk. If we want to repair things we need to go back to the basics, and civil discourse is a key basic.

Do you want to improve the state of the dialogue? If so, you’ll appreciate this interview. Leading communicators and marketers share their thoughts and ideas on how to improve civil discourse. With their ideas, we can move towards having meaningful dialogue and move towards shared values and ideals.

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Sheelagh Caygill

Sheelagh Caygill is an award-winning writer, journalist, podcaster, and poet based in Toronto, Canada.

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