Constructive Engagement Checklist

I often get asked, “What can I do?” This list can help you get started.
1. Don’t set the conversation up as a war. When you make it so you’re on one side and the other person is on the other, you create a zero-sum game where someone has to lose.
2. Be clear (either out loud or in your mind) that your concern lies with the fact that certain ideas are presented in a manner that suggests they are the only legitimate way to see the world.
3. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Progress in promoting a more balanced discourse—even if it doesn’t fully get to your ideal outcome—is still progress.
4. Model the behavior you want to see. Humility and openness to other perspectives are crucial for effective engagement.
5. Always keep in mind that most people want a more just, fair society. Recognize that there are divergent views on how to get there.