“Too often,” said President John F. Kennedy, “We... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” That is even more true today, so I’m sharing a few tips intended to help people talk to each other with the intention to learn rather than to persuade.
—Start and end with respect. Treat others with dignity, even when you have different opinions.
—Ask questions to learn, rather than to challenge. Put extra effort into forming thoughtful inquiries.
—Share your logic, to help others understand not just your position but also why you came to that conclusion.
—Be generous and positive with your assumptions about the intentions and character of others. Always give them the benefit of the doubt.
—When you have an especially strong opinion, be extra careful. Do your best to be even more willing to talk, ask questions, and also answer them courteously.
Your mission should not be to convince others of your wisdom, but rather for you to learn while you make it easier for others to do the same.
As the saying goes, if you are 100% certain you are right, then you are probably wrong.