Argument Culture Moving From Debate to Dialogue
By Deborah Tannen
Why this book?
If we want to avoid unproductive arguments with people we care about, then we need to know why arguing has replaced dialogue. Today, many experts describe our current communication climate as the argument culture where we respond to differences of opinion as if we were in a verbal fight. How did this toxic climate come to be? Though written by a linguist, this accessible book allows us to see how argument replaced healthy communication in the realm of education, politics, and religion. What I find most helpful is how the author helps us diagnose if we enter conversations as a debater—only interested in winning—or as a learner who exhibits both convictions and humility. And, if we are only interested in debate/winning how can we change our disposition toward people who matter to us that includes empathy and compassion?
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