“‘It takes practice and intention to communicate well in the midst of conflict,’ says Jes Stoltzfus Buller, MCC U.S. peace education coordinator and author of the curriculum. ‘If we can learn to embody healthy dialogue habitually in interpersonal interaction, it will ripple out and affect our communities and society.'”-“Peaceful Practices: A guide to healthy communication in conflict.” Mennonite Central Committee.
The guide comprised of nine sessions is available for download. I think the key idea is that we should try to understand where the other person is coming from, be curious and actually listen to what they have to say. It’s amazing how feeling like you are being heard can change the conversation for everyone.
- Session 1: Making peace a practice
- Session 2: Curiosity—Be curious, inviting diversity of ideas and opinions
- Session 3: Discovery—Focus on what matters
- Session 4: Engagement—Invite the best in yourself and others
- Session 5: Dialogue—Listen together for insights and deeper questions
- Session 6: Empathy—Seek to understand rather than persuade
- Session 7: Authenticity—Speak from the heart
- Session 8: Dignity—Consider power dynamics
- Session 9: Transformation—Welcome creativity
Perhaps the holiday season is an opportunity to learn this kind of communication and practice it.