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MarketWatch Opinion: You need to talk to the other side about abortion and other polarizing issues — even though you likely won’t agree

22 Jul 2022
Adopt a ‘both/and’ approach to create policies that sustain over time

Originally found at MarketWatch

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned a half-century of abortion rights has sparked intense and opposing emotions. We find ourselves, yet again, in a polarized political fight with the battlegrounds in Congress, in the boardrooms, on the streets, on social media and, for some of us, at our kitchen tables.

Yet the problem is not in the clarity and conviction of either side — it’s in the lack of connection across sides.

People are flattening the issue of abortion into a single either/or decision: choice or life, a simplicity reinforced by newspaper headlines and social media one-liners. Then people divide the population into those aligned and those against, dehumanizing “them” on the other side of the debate while rarely having deeper conversations to learn what “they” really think.

The result is trench warfare; each side digging deeper in defense and blindly shooting down the others....

We have spent the last 25 years studying how people face such complex and tenuous issues. Our research [published in Academy of Management Journal] shows that when decisionmakers engage opposing positions and adopt what we call both/and thinking, they generate more sustainable and creative solutions.

If we, as a society, are to bridge our divides and engage both/and thinking then we need more insightful and productive political deliberations.

Continue reading the original article at MarketWatch.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal

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