Jerry Graff & Cathy Birkenstein

#206: How Storytelling Turns Argument Into a Positive Discussion

#206: How Storytelling Turns Argument Into a Positive Discussion

Throughout history, conflict has ensued as a result of differing viewpoints and opinions. The reason why is because most people don’t know how to effectively engage in healthy argumentation and in turn, violence and hate often become the end result. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to disarm your discourse by using these proven debate frameworks.

My guests, Jerry Graff, and Cathy Birkenstein are the co-authors of the book They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Their book features communication templates to win over any audience while selling your point-of-view.

The first step in the formula is to seek out the other side’s story. It is not until you fully understand and can summarize their beliefs that you should begin to craft your response. This not only allows you to build a better argument, but allows for connection and discovery of common ground.

The best way to persuade your opponent is by connecting with them on what they believe in already, ideally what their counterview is to you, on their terms, on their view of the world. ~ Cathy Birkenstein

And instead of repressing or burying their claims, embrace them.

We have found that the best way to disarm an argument is to give it full voice. ~ Jerry Graff

Topics Discussed in this Episode

  • The necessity of formulas in communication
  • How to use story to find a common ground
  • How the power of story can create empathy and make your viewpoint more compelling
  • How story can help you understand someone who has an opposing viewpoint
  • How the use of story helps you be more relatable to someone with a different viewpoint

Resources & Links

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