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Business Leaders Must Step Up

Like so many other Americans I am frustrated with the unbridled lack of civility, crippling partisanship and dysfunctional gridlock that prevents our country from solving the serious problems we face on a daily basis.

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5 Things Facilitators Can Do When Conversations Get Hot

When I’m working with new facilitators, one of the most common questions I get is some version of, “What do I do when things go off the rails?”  This question is often rooted in fear and worst case scenario thinking. But there are also times when that question is rooted in a particular experience of destructive or dysfunctional communication patterns. Perhaps you’ve witnessed it happen in your own classroom or staff meeting and you’ve felt stuck, unsure of how to proceed, repair the harm done, and keep the group moving forward together.

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Remember Those Heartwarming Campaign Ads for Utah Governor? Here’s What’s Needed to Make Them the Norm

In a year when partisan rancor was rampant on the national political stage, glimmers of hope for positive campaigning still shone through. One case of this was the Utah gubernatorial election. Chris Peterson and Spencer J. Cox, opponents in the election, produced very popular shared ads promoting civil discourse and affirming their commitment to the principles of democracy. In an opinion piece co-written by the opponents, they wrote that they “hope to serve as examples in reforging a national commitment to civility and respect for the peaceful transfer of power.” Peterson and Cox also encouraged other politicians to campaign similarly, writing that they should focus on promoting their own policies instead of degrading their opponent. This form of campaigning is called positive campaigning, and it reincorporates civility into politics. While it is encouraging to see politicians advocate for civility on the campaign trail, positive campaigning is far from being widely adopted. In Utah, the election‘s lack of competitiveness allowed the candidates to pursue altruistic goals without affecting the outcome. The Republican ultimately won more than twice as many votes as the Democrat.

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