Engaging people with differing viewpoints

Engaging people with differing viewpoints

How to start conversations, challenge assumptions and become better at communicating
Topics covered:
  • How to engage people with different viewpoints
  • Recognising other points of view
  • How to challenge your preconceived ideas
Why it's important

“For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles” ― Barack Obama, Farewell Address, January 2017

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” ― William Hazlitt

Campaigners, communicators, advice workers and advocates
Oxford, UK
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2016 was a year which revealed how divided societies around the world are becoming. Not-for-profits, political parties, companies, governments, the media and even we as individuals seem to increasingly exist in our own viewpoint bubbles. This has left a gap for more extreme viewpoints from all sides of the spectrum to creep into daily life, threaten progress that has taken decades to achieve and block future progress on urgent issues. What we need in order to bridge this gap is a greater understanding of our differences and our common ground - and the ability to engage with people who have differing viewpoints.

If the growing divides in society are concerning you, or if you, have had your assumptions turned on their head in the past year, this course is for you.

This course will be a mix of recent case studies (successes and failures) and participant workshops to identify and practice the principles of engaging people with differing viewpoints. Participants will go through cycles of reflection and simulations to help them trial this art and prepare them for putting it into action within their work and communities.

Draft Agenda

Engaging people with differing viewpoints


Check in: grab your name tag and say hello! You also might want to grab a cup of coffee or tea


Welcome and introduction: An overview of the training day and identify specific participant interests/questions
09:15-09:30 Ice breaker
09:30-10:15 Talk and Q&A: Reflections on the EU referendum (Don Levett)
10:15-11:00 Panel Discussion: Starting conversations in a post-Brexit Britain
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-13:00 Workshop: Challenging our assumptions (guest-led)
13:00-14:00 Lunch (included) & table discussions
14:00-15:30 Workshop: Understanding the other side’s argument
15:30-16:00 Break
16:00-17:00 Activity: How to apply what we’ve learned in our campaigns and communities
17:00-17:30 Participant Q&A / Discussion Time for addressing any unanswered questions, discussing the learning, etc.
17:30 End of training day
About the trainer

Delyth JewellDelyth Jewell is an award-winning campaigner with a wealth of experience in consensus building within parliament. She was involved in bringing in new laws on stalking (2012) and coercive control (2015). She is a former Westminster speech writer and Welsh Assembly candidate. An experienced mentor, Delyth now works for a national advice charity.

Get a Masters in Media, Campaigning & Social Change

The University of Wesminster (London, UK) runs a Masters in Media, Campaigning & Social Change. they are accepting applicants for new intakes now.

This course is particularly relevant if you want to start, or to progress, a career in communications and campaigning for social change, whether in a charity or non-governmental organisation; in a public sector body; in a political party or election campaigning setting; or even in a corporate social responsibility role. It could also be a stepping-stone towards a PhD and an academic career in this growing field of study. For more information, please contact the course enquiries team or joint course leader Michaela O’Brien at M.Obrien2@westminster.ac.uk

by Duane Raymond published Jan 09, 2016,