Good Manners and Forks

Good manners is much more than knowing what fork to use. Good manners is listening to the other person and showing them respect.

Based on a comment during an interview with George Will

How to navigate Impossible Conversations

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Do you have difficulty having conversations with people who strongly disagree with you? There are plenty of subjects these days that lead to very unpleasant arguments. I don’t have to tell you what these subjects are.

The good news is that there is an excellent book that can teach you how to navigate difficult conversations. I am a retired lawyer. I wish I had read book like this decades ago..

This is not just another self help book. It is essential reading discussions in today’s world. It is practical and full of helpful examples.

Here is a link to the book. Click on the link. Have a look. You don’t have to buy it. It is the book called “How to Have Imposssible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide” by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay.

The commission? Amazon will pay it to me. You don’t pay the commission.

Sunlight and Free Speech

The sunlight of free speech is the best disinfectant against the darkness of irrational beliefs.

Photo by Rajiv Bajaj on Unsplash

Based on a metaphor in Free Speech by Andrew Doyle

The secret to the instant clear communication of an argument

The secret is the top down sequence.

First state the question and in a few words explain the context.

Second, state your conclusion.

Third, state how many reasons you have for your conclusion.

Fourth, say what each reason is about and then give details.

Fifth, repeat your conclusion.

For example:

“The question is whether the house on 6th Street should be demolished.

My view is that it should be.

I have two reasons for this.

First, it is a health hazard: The walls are broken. The roof is beyond repair. The building is infested with rats.

Second, It is a fire hazard: The rooms are full of rubbish, broken wood and other flammable material. Vagrants light fires in the ruin.

Consequently, my view is that the house should be demolished.”

Note:

  • The hearer is immediately knows what the communication is about.
  • The hearer is immediately told the conclusion.
  • The hearer is told there will be two supporting reasons.
  • The hearer is given a warning that a reason is coming, is told what the reason is and then is given details.
  • The hearer is again told the conclusion.

Watch Lord Jonathan Sumption using this way of arguing. Lord Sumption is regarded as one of the cleverest people in England. Click here.

The top down approach is similar to the Pyramid Principle taught by Barbara Minto. Her book is on Amazon. Click here. Please note this is an affiliate link. This blog post was prompted by my listening to Lord Sumption