Creating Common Ground for a Kinder, Better Future: Growing the Capacity to Listen and Connect in Politically Charged Times

Holding a civil, productive conversation with individuals who may not agree with you is always a challenge. This year, it seems to be an even bigger challenge, but it is still an important skill to continuously improve. Political or personal values conversations are an important part of civil discourse, especially if each party is willing to listen and connect with mutual respect and a goal to seek common ground. This session will provide a framework for better conversations around very complicated and potentially emotional topics.

You will learn to:

  • Explore three ways to have more productive conversations
  • Apply a practical framework for creating common ground
  • Recognize cultural differences in communication styles

You will benefit by:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the historical fabric of politics in the U.S.
  • Having a set of tools to improve your conversational skills on difficult topics
  • Establishing more harmonious relationships with others who may disagree with you


Any U-M faculty or staff who would like to connect and create common ground with others during difficult conversations

Program Notes:

This session will be held in an online webinar format. Instructions and a link to join the webinar will be included in the registration confirmation email.

Individuals who would like to present this content to their team can sign up to be notified when the next Train-the-Trainer session is scheduled

This supplemental Leader Guide for a Challenging Political Season contains helpful tips and guidelines for leaders as they hold conversations with their team.

Participants may also check out this collection of additional resources available in LinkedIn Learning prior to or following the session. LinkedIn Learning is available at no cost to active U-M faculty, staff (including temporary employees) and students.

Topic Area

  • Communication
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Domain and Expectation

  • Mission
    • Create value for the diverse communities we serve
  • People
    • Collaborate and build inclusive relationships
  • Self
    • Communicate
  • Execution
    • Build positive culture


  • Member of a Team
  • Leading a Team
  • Leading Multiple Teams
  • Leading the Organization


  • Level 1: Awareness


Code: DEIOL2125

Presenter: Angie Stewart, Sonia Joshi

Cost: $0

  • Thu 11/5/20 9:00 am to 10:30 am
    Location: Online Webinar

Code: DEIOL2126

Presenter: Angie Stewart, Sonia Joshi

Cost: $0

  • Mon 11/9/20 9:00 am to 10:30 am
    Location: Online Webinar