Episode #88 Find Common Ground

There is polarization everywhere we look, and it’s hard to see a way out and a way forward. This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Amy Seiffert wrestle with the practice that could heal our relationships and save our world.

Show Notes

Maybe that’s part of finding common ground, saying out loud: ‘What you just said freaks me out. How you voted in this election blows me away. The thing you posted on social media creates tremendous confusion. But I’m not going to withdraw from you. I want to move toward you.’
Dr. Michael Brown

Five Problems

  • Polarization exists not only in our world but also in our homes.
  • It is much easier to find uncommon ground than it is to find common ground.
  • We often villainize people based on a single disagreement, not realizing that they are actually on our team.
  • Without finding common ground, no relationship can meaningfully progress.
  • We tend to become meaner, angrier, and more arrogant when we live in an echo chamber of only individuals who share our perspectives.

Three Principles

  • Truly understanding another’s perspective requires us to explore the full story rather than only a snippet.
  • Humility allows us to cultivate curiosity and enables us to continue asking questions.
  • We can explore our natural reactions to uncommon ground while still moving forward in relationship.

Five Practices

  • When discovering different opinions about the way problems should be solved, begin by identifying common values.
  • When differing understandings of reality don’t seem to align, ask the question, “What are some facts that we can agree upon?”
  • Enter each conversation presuming that you are wrong about something.
  • When you struggle to understand another’s perspective, utilize the phrase, “Help me understand.”
  • Schedule a conversation today to repair a relationship that has been strained by a political issue or a difference of perspective.