Strategy for Equitable Change: Effective Communication


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This is part of the Salud America! Achieving a Cohesive Culture for Health Equity in Latino and All Communities: A Research Review»

The Power of Effective Communication

Strengthening communication is important as well for promoting compassion for those of color and those in poverty.

Baron and Jacksteit 84 developed a method to establish productive conversation patterns between people who have difficulty communicating due to negative perceptions or stereotypes, polarizing views, and distrust.

The method attempts to facilitate conversations that allow the participants to truly understand each other’s values, concerns and motivations rather than those that devolve into reinforcement of negative stereotypes or assumptions.

Young people with problems having a discussion while sitting together on special group therapy training implicit biasThe so-called Public Conversations Project relies on several elements, including:

  • the setting of ground rules and structures for speaking
  • listening to others
  • allowing equal participation
  • sharing core beliefs
  • exploring doubts and uncertainties
  • asking genuine questions of others
  • avoiding inflammatory language.

The goal of the project is not for parties to reach an agreement, but rather to listen to and understand one another.84

Effective communication allows individuals to voice their points of view without attacking another’s views, and without feeling attacked.85

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References for this section »

84. Baron A, Jacksteit M. Public Conversations Project Dialogue. Civicus Website. Conversations.pdf. Accessed June 15, 2020.

85. Mercier H, Boudry M, Paglieri F, Trouche E. Natural-Born Arguers: Teaching How to Make the Best of Our Reasoning Abilities. Educ Psychol. 2017;52(1):1-16. doi:10.1080/00461520.2016.1207537

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