Thanksgiving Table Talk

My friend Jacqui Lewis suggests four excellent questions for heart-to-heart conversation with your relatives this week.

Why did you vote the way you voted for president?
What did you hope your vote would accomplish?
How are you feeling right now?
Is there anything we can do together?

The key, of course, is to listen. Really listen.

And when it comes to differing, do so graciously. My simple recommendation: “Wow, I see that differently.”

And if your conversation partner turns those questions back to you – be ready with a sincere answer, from the heart, in simple language, without any barbs or jargon. Use words like “I care, I believe, I want, I hope for, I value.”

In the coming weeks and months, it will be very important for us to mend the tears in our social fabric … through caring conversations and healed relationships. Each genuine conversation can be like a stitch sewn across a rip, strengthening empathy, broadening concern, deepening understanding.

PS – here are 7 good guidelines for difficult but needed conversations.

And this piece, although a bit snarky, also has some useful insights about communicating with people whose ideas you find deplorable.

And my friend Patrick Jager offers a challenge for all of us to focus on what unites us … the “unum” in “e pluribus unum.”