Sometimes a Question Is Better than an Answer

Last week, at a gathering of strategists on some tough cultural issues, a very good point was made: Sometimes the right question at the right time is the best way to have a conversation with someone with whom you fundamentally disagree.

I couldn’t agree more, especially when the topic is something like same-sex marriage, religious freedom, or bathrooms at Target—when you know that to have an opinion counter to the new cultural orthodoxy is to be thought of as hateful or intolerant.

Our temptation is to think, “Oh, they won’t listen.” Maybe they won’t, but I think more times than we think, we can have conversations that are actual conversations. Sometimes we’re afraid we won’t know enough. Maybe that’s true, but in addition to basic knowledge, there are also skills for having these conversations that we can all acquire.

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