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Winter Edition
Volume 96, Number 4

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Productive ways to handle tough topics

10 Tips from our panelists
  1. Don’t avoid discussing tough topics. Skirting an issue does not make it go away, and in the long term could make it worse.
  2. Seek first to understand where others are coming from.
  3. Evaluate and understand your own perceptions, biases, and preconceived notions. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of losing?”
  4. Commit to getting accurate information up front. When you do your homework on a subject you communicate that you care deeply about the issue. Go directly to the source and ask good questions.
  5. Be open and honest.
  6. Avoid jumping to conclusions.
  7. Try not to label or make assumptions about others. Understand each person apart from the issue.
  8. Use e-mail and other technology responsibly. Be careful not to spread inaccurate information; learn to respond rather than react.
  9. Extend the benefit of the doubt to others.
  10. Be gracious. Recognize that we’re all on a journey, and that we may be at different points on the journey.
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