How Can We Start Difficult Conversations?

Keep it social, short, and positive. These principles will help.

The question came at the end of an energetic workshop on climate change.

It was early March, just before COVID-19 changed everything. In a room full of Duke alumni and alumnae, a middle-aged woman started, haltingly at first.

“I have a relative- an uncle- who just won’t listen to the facts about climate change.  He doesn’t believe in it, and doesn’t want to hear about it. I love him but I can’t change his mind.  How can I talk with him about it?”

She was asking a simple question:  How can we have difficult conversations that matter?