Make America talk again: the lab teaching sworn enemies to have decent conversations.
Conflict is hard. But one condition that leads to understanding is subtle but logical: It turns out that when people build up even a small buffer of goodwill, their conversations go much better. Specifically, people need to have about three moments of positive feelings for every one moment of negativity.
This 3:1 ratio is one critical lesson. Goodwill is the gateway drug for listening. “People need to have some balance of experience, of feeling like they’re heard, [to be told] that’s an interesting point they made,” Social psychologist Peter Coleman says. “Then they stay in the more complex, nuanced place.”
Could the secret to healing a riven politics lie in a Difficult Conversations Laboratory?