Vancouver-based PR director Jim Hoggan (pronounced Hogan) thinks strong disagreement can co-exist with civility. In today’s media culture, modes of communication (from emails to memos to blog posts) have become more swords than words.
Have you noticed how many YouTube debates are described as some version of, “Watch our hero eviscerate (or slaughter/kill/slay/own/etc. the other guy”? We can’t seem to disagree without destroying.
This is why Hoggan wrote I’m Right and You’re An Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up.
What’s interesting is that he takes a definite (possibly dogmatic) stand on what used to be called global warming – rebranded as “climate change” – so his communication lessons are tied to a controversial topic from the get-go. But the merits or demerits of Al Gore’s approach to climate change weren’t the topic of the interview – the need for engagement at the level of facts and not facetiousness was. And in this interview, Mr. Hoggan models the civility he recommends.
(Surely his Canadianness gives him an edge in the nice department…)
In this context I can also, without shame, recommend my free e-booklet, Stay Cool When the Argument Heats Up: Proven Strategies for Calm Conversing. Get your free copy by subscribing to my Inside Scoop Newsletter here.
Yes, Virginia, we can disagree without destroying.