How to work with difficult people

In Richard Sennett’s new bookTogether: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation’, he explores the history of cooperation and posits that most tactics that we commonly use are actually making it harder to reach a position of real cooperation.

There are four key skills Professor Sennett believes we all need to get better at if we want to improve our ability to truly cooperate in difficult situations and with people we don’t get along with:

  • Practice dialogics not dialectics
  • Use the subjunctive not the declarative
  • Informalise conflict
  • Invoke empathy not sympathy

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