Fourth Principle Dialogue Group

Thursday, July 14, 7–8:30 p.m. in the King room

Given the recent Supreme Court rulings—abortion, guns and environment—along with UUC’s concerns about racism, we probably have many strong opinions and feelings to process. Bring one with you to the next meeting of UUC’s 4th Principle Dialogue Group and we will use each other to continue developing our paraphrasing skills.

We will use “How to Stop Arguing,” by Oren Jay Sofer, author of Say What You Mean, to review a wider perspective of the various skills contributing to good dialogue. His discussion in the article of “offering understanding” (item 5), goes into more detail about paraphrasing, which we will discuss and use in our meeting.

The four elements Sofer suggests to get to shared meaning are:

  • Sit still. Avoid extraneous activity and motion, glancing around, fidgeting.
  • Listen quietly, take in what they say, and show understanding by nodding or other nonverbal gestures.
  • Offer a verbal affirmation such as, “I hear you. I can understand why you’d be upset.”
  • Try saying back what you understand. “Let me see if I’m following. It sounds like…[summarize your understanding]. Is that right?”

Please join us. Drop-ins welcome.