Covid Conversations – How To Deal With Opposing Views

December 10, 2021

Covid Conversations - How To Deal With Opposing Views

Nobody enjoys confrontation. It is always easier when everyone gets along and has the same views. Unfortunately, we do not live in a Utopia.

There are many instances where the people we work with or live with will have opposing views, especially on polarizing topics. Most of us end up having conversations on the topics that lead to more divisiveness, angst and apprehension. Or, we avoid engaging in what we think might be a difficult conversation. Avoidance can bring up feelings of resentment and frustration. This is not a sustainable approach.

It is natural and common for disagreements to become emotional. To have a more productive conversation about a polarizing topic, one needs to recognize when emotions are taking over. Moreover, as Stephen Covey put it in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,”

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

One of the trending polarizing topics that we are all faced with is COVID-19. What makes this topic so highly charged is that it is ever-present. The impacts of health and safety guidelines or public health requirements impactl our day-to-day activities and decisions.

Not everyone is equally affected by the pandemic, but everyone has a certain point of view that they believe in. This does not mean that other people’s views are wrong or invalid.

Hence, the main question that arises here is how can you say “I fully understand your opinion but disagree with you” without creating a rift? How can you have a productive conversation about what you think or how you live? Perhaps most importantly, how can you maintain a healthy and functional relationship with someone you disagree so strongly with?

This is where we can help you. Mediation Services has been conducting training on conflict resolution, building a respectable workplace, managing unresolved issues and much more. Our newest webinar is on ‘A Roadmap to Existing Together with Opposing Views.

The webinar will be hosted by none other than our lead trainer Janet Schmidt. She has been in the industry for more than three decades and has experience in both the public and private sectors. Check her TEDx talk here to learn more about her.

What Will You Learn?

This webinar has solely been designed to help you to have a productive conversation that puts your relationship with the other before your opinion about the issue. The goal is to understand the other person’s opinion and voice yours without creating feelings of unease. Here is what you will learn in the webinar.

Digging in to find underlying wants, needs, fears and values

In a conflict, people typically name their opinion about an issue. They may also name some of their wants which support what they think or feel about the issue. They are less likely to name their needs and are even more reluctant to state the values that have shaped their opinion. Often strong fears or concerns is what has shaped an opinion.

Asking about the fears or concerns is one way to uncover values. It is here that it becomes easier to make a connection and to release judgement of the other.

To help you demonstrate this ability and truly be curious about what led to the other person’s point of view, Mediation Services has designed special exercises and activities that will be conducted during the webinar.

Approach The Conversation With A State Of Curiosity

The act of engagement and interest is extremely important when it comes to dealing with a range of concerns and interests. You have to be genuinely interested in the other person’s viewpoint.

This will not only help to keep the conversation on track but will also help you go further to a productive conversation rather than arguing or lashing out.

Other Learning Objectives

In addition to the above-mentioned objectives, some of the other traits that we expect you to possess by the end of the webinar include:

  • Recognizing the needs and values of the conflict and categorizing them accordingly.
  • Recall and apply proper strategies for defusing anger, respectfully end a conversation that is not going well.
  • Identify the interests that are common, different, and incompatible.
  • Learn to navigate around incompatible interests to prevent any angst.

The training is designed with several modules. You can work through the learning at your own pace and use the worksheets to prepare for engaging in difficult conversations.

We also conduct online zoom and asynchronous webinars for different issues. Such training will help you improve your communication skills and navigate family, workplace, and personal conflicts. To check out our training courses, visit this link or contact us for further assistance.

If you have questions,
please don’t hesitate to call.


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