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How To Talk To People About Things

Starts Wednesday, February 19, 2013

A six-week course in negotiation and communication taught by Misha Glouberman.

Negotiation is what happens any time people need to make a decision together. It’s what happens when you need to talk to people who want different things from you, or see things differently than you do, which is to say, pretty much everyone. If you need to work with someone, or live with someone, or do just about anything that involves other people, you probably engage in dozens of negotiations a day.

Communication in these situations is often tricky. It can be easy for people to misunderstand each other. It can be hard to communicate what you want effectively. It can be hard to talk to someone who’s certain they’re right and you’re wrong, and equally hard to talk to someone who you’re sure is wrong, when you’re sure you’re right.

There’s a lot of great work that’s been done about developing skills to be better at all this. These are skills about communicating better, about being able to find solutions in situations that might seem unsolvable, and about being able to improve situations that didn’t look like problems at all. Getting better at these skills can be really useful, really interesting, and a lot of fun.

The course will use training exercises and games developed at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. A lot of the material in the course is drawn from a couple of really excellent books: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, and Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. The course also draws on materials developed by Common Outlook, a Toronto firm that teaches negotiation and communication skills to businesses.

How to Talk to People About Things will be taught by Misha Glouberman. Misha is the host of the non-expert lecture series Trampoline Hall, runs a series of participatory sound-improvisation events called Terrible Noises for Beautiful People, and is the author, with Sheila Heti, of The Chairs are Where The People Go. Through his company Collective Intelligence, he runs meetings and conferences. In his neighbourhood, he is the founding member of the Queen Beaconsfield Residents Association.


Justina M. Barnicke Gallery


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