Difficult Conversations: Taking Risks, Acting with Integrity

Book, 2001, 96 pp
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"We don't talk about controversial issues here!" seems to be the unspoken rule in most faith communities. The unfortunate results of such no-talk rules are that congregations are noticeably absent from the public forum, and members of faith communities fail to develop what sociologist Robert Putnam calls "social capital" - congregants do not form significant connections with one another. In this book, the author invites readers to begin engaging in difficult conversations, a process she hopes will become habit-forming, a new way of being communities of faith.

Katie Day begins by asking what makes difficult conversations so difficult: What dynamics are at work that enable us so effectively to silence one another (and ourselves)? She forthrightly addresses the most basic element in difficult conversations - risk - and then describes models for true dialogue. Day ends with a discussion of the benefits this important way of life will bring to a community.

"This booklet invites congregations to develop "conversational muscle," asking what makes such conversations difficult, and offering both examples and exercises." -- Ken Bechtel

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