Effective Conversations

In this three-part self guided series, you’ll gain an foundational introduction to effective conversations -- discussing issues that are important to you with people that likely have a different opinion than your own. We cover effective listening, communicating your values, knowing your 'why', and developing a theory of change for how your actions lead to impact—ultimately helping you develop a suite of skills that you can use to have more effective conversations. This series combines social science, psychology, and best practices for political organizers, and gives participants room for practice, feedback, and application of the craft.


Effective Conversations I: Effective Listening

We must first ground ourselves as listeners. This training focuses on the ability to listen for the underlying values that people try to convey when they speak, and how to build a connection based on shared ideas and beliefs.

Effective Conversations II: Know Your Why

Many Americans have ideas about how to change our country for the better. But why are we not always compelled by them? It’s likely because we don’t always hear the underlying values behind why they care about the change in the first place—their ‘why’. Through this training, we will help you identify your own ‘why’, and practice communicating it in a clear, persuasive way that allows others to connect with your ideas/story.

Effective Conversations III: How, Why, What?

This training sets you up with a practical framework that you can use in multiple organizing settings, from canvassing your neighborhood to talking to your congressional representatives.

Additional Resources

Argue Better—With Science // Vox. Most people are bad at arguing. This Vox article by Brian Resnick covers two techniques that will make you better and hopefully help improve your conversations with those who see issues from a different perspective. It even touches on the moral foundations theory, which can be helpful for framing your arguments with different audiences.