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Faculty Book

Breaking Through Gridlock

Jason J. Jay and Gabriel Grant  |  May 2017

The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World

Conversations about social change devolve quickly into conflict when participants don t agree. Experienced practitioners Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant offer advocates and aspiring change agents six easy steps for opening the lines of communication when conversations get stuck.Think about the last time you tried to talk with someone who didn't already agree with you about issues that matter most. How well did it go?

These conversations are vital, but too often get stuck. They become contentious or we avoid them because we fear they might. What if, in these difficult conversations, we could stay true to ourselves while enriching relationships and creating powerful pathways forward? What if our divergent values provided healthy fuel for dialogue and innovation instead of gridlock and polarization? Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant invite us into a spirit of serious play, laughing at ourselves while moving from self-reflection to action. Using enlightening exercises and rich examples, Breaking through Gridlock helps us become aware of the role we unwittingly play in getting conversations stuck. It empowers us to share what really matters – with anyone, anywhere – so that together we can create positive change in our families, organizations, communities, and society.


About the Authors:
Jason J. Jay holds a bachelor s degree in psychology and a master s in education from Harvard and a PhD in organization studies from MIT. He is a senior lecturer in sustainability at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan.

Gabriel Grant is a doctoral candidate in leadership and sustainability at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the founding director of the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation. He is also an active sustainability consultant with fifteen years of experience.>