A Guide to Purposeful Conversations

by Logan Judy

Much of the bad communication we see online as well as in person could be improved by asking a simple question: “What is my purpose in saying this?”

We like to think that the purpose of every post we write or every debate we enter is to illuminate the truth and persuade others.  But that’s not always the case.  More often than not, social media posts are used as rallying cries for your own base or virtue signaling for your side of the issue.  When controversy is more expected, online and in real life, we’re frequently more interested in proving we’re right than persuading others.  How can we combat these tendencies? To put it rather simply, be purposeful.

Pick Your Battles

I’m the younger of two boys, and like most younger brothers, I liked to pick fights.  Many of these were about unimportant things and my brother, being the oldest child, was determined to prove me wrong.  But of course, this never convinced me. My mother, tired of the arguing, told my brother, “Just let him be wrong.”

While we could all use a dose of humility (“Maybe I’m the one that’s wrong”), there’s a lot of wisdom in that approach…
 

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A Guide to Purposeful Conversations