A mini course from edx focused on using communication skills to mend divides and foster inclusivity on Après a career resource for moms returning to work after a break.

How do you start a meaningful dialogue with someone with a different political view, from a different country, or with a religious belief different from your own? What can we possibly have in common? It’s getting harder and harder to talk with people, especially people who are different from you. How can we bridge those divides and start those conversations?

Here are 5 communication tips you can follow today to start a productive conversation, find common ground, and take the first step to building a more inclusive world.

Tip 1: Engage in Dialogue, Not Debate

The goal is shared learning, not winning an argument or debate.

Tip 2: Be OK With A Little Bit of Discomfort

Acknowledge that sharing different perspectives involves some risk and that it might feel uncomfortable.

Tip 3: Assume Positive Intent

Embrace the idea that talking will lead to something good.

Tip 4: Clarify

Don’t assume. Ask whether you are being understood and whether you understand the other person correctly.

Tip 5: Be Willing to Admit Mistakes

Accept that you won’t always say the right thing. Honest communication is a skill to be developed.

These tips and other conversation ground rules are some of the many things you’ll learn in CatalystX’s new 45-minute course, Communication Skills for Bridging Divides. In under an hour, this skills-intensive course will cover how to create a dialogue instead of a debate, the power of micro-affirmations, and how to be an ally. You will get the nuts and bolts of the skills necessary to bridge differences, and then the opportunity to practice applying those skills.

The skills are simple. It just takes a will and a little bit of courage to start building a more inclusive world. It starts with you.