Interpersonal Communication Resources

The following websites are great for researching, reading up on, and/or practicing mindfulness, listening, and interpersonal communication skills, including negotiation and supportive communication.

Several US American university-based research centers have fantastic research and information on living well, mindfulness, awareness-based issues, and related topics.

Mindful Awareness Research Center
, University of California, Los Angeles
Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley
Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts
Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison

UMN's Center for Spirituality and Healing is here in case you are interested in attending classes or lectures in the Twin Cities area.

Eric Garland's Blog (University of Utah). Eric Garland is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist doing fantastic research on the influence of mindfulness.

Listening & Paying Attention

How to be a good listener. This is a great newspaper article with pragmatic tips for listening.

Listening competence in initial interactions: Distinguishing between what listening is what listeners do. This is a great empirical article from Graham Bodie (and some of his students) on what competent listening actually is.

Conflict Resolution
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is perhaps the US American leader on evidence-based resources for conflict resolution and negotiation. All resources are grounded in a social justice model, and aim to increase our skills to manage difficult interactions.

The website features a vast number of free reports on conflict that are all worth a gander. You can also order the international bestseller, Getting to Yes by Fisher, Ury, and Patton, as well as other great books. A second book I recommend that also comes from Harvard's Program on Negotiation is Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton, and Heen.

Interpersonal Communication Skills and Support in Relationships
There are several great resources for couples to strengthen their relationships. The Gottman Institute's site comes to mind.

In my own research, we developed and tested a brief two-week communication skills training that increases couples' communication skills. The training booklet consists of daily 15-minute exercises that teach active listening skills (e.g., perception checks) and skills to facilitate partner coping.

We also designed a brief PowerPoint presentation summarizing the training. The presentation includes an active embodied listening exercise with a brief video. That exercise is Day 2's exercise in the booklet.

Here is the December 2016 talk I gave during the UMN-Best Buy alumni network meeting on the Best Buy campus in Richfield, MN.

Resources For Uncertain Times
A lot of us are trying to figure out how to cope with uncertain times and day-to-day stress that emerges from a terribly irresponsible Trump presidency. A lot of us are also wondering how to respond to incidents that are harassing and discriminating. 

It might be interesting to read up on the well-known bystander effect and perhaps also check out the documentary,Witness, which is about the Kitty Genovese case.

Eric Hoffer's (1951) The True Believer is always a good read and presents a non-ideological profile how mass movements emerge. Here is some wiki info on Hoffer. David Kemmis' (1992) Community and Politics of Place is another great resource.

Sullivan's article in The New Yorker (May, 2016) utilizes Plato while also summarizing chunks of Hoffer's propositions. 

Junger's (2016) Tribe takes a socio-psychological angle and is also nonideological. Junger's main argument is about the loss of (and need for) community. Junger talks about reasons why soldiers, for instance, find it hard to "come home." He speaks of transition disorder, rather than PTSD. Junger was also recently (June 1, 2016) on Life Wire!

Here is a brief article in the Huff Post about how humans are inherently extremely poor at contemplating "big picture," long-term, and historical perspectives. The writer ponders: How come we keep making the same disastrous mistakes time and again?

Here is an article from the Washington Post about a young man's (Derek Black) renunciation of nationalist and racist thinking. What's key about the article is that Derek's path involved a lot of face-to-face dinners with people he was taught to hate. So, is eating a hearty meal the path to equality and humanity? Probably not. But face-to-face communication and engagement is.