Collaboration with Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce brings local business leaders with diverse political leanings together for a skills workshop.

Braver Angels teamed up with the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce for a transformative event aimed at local business leaders. Held on February 22, 2024, the “Skills for Bridging the Divide” workshop drew over 20 members of the business community, eager to enhance their communication skills in today’s polarized landscape.

Janet Hrydziuszko and Cathy Anthofer-Fialon, Executive Director for Mediation Services moderated the event, guiding participants through exercises designed to promote understanding and respectful discourse. The event emphasized the importance of active listening, sincere curiosity, and seeking common ground.

Reflecting on the workshop, Cathy Anthofer-Fialon remarked, “Events like these underscore the critical need for effective communication in our increasingly polarized society. It was exciting to watch participants not only learn and practice skills but also find common ground. By fostering skills for bridging divides, we empower individuals to engage constructively with diverse perspectives, ultimately strengthening our communities”

Attendees echoed sentiments of appreciation for the workshop’s focus on listening, seeking common ground, and acknowledging differences. The feedback highlighted the value of pausing to listen, refraining from dismissive language, and engaging in one-on-one conversations rather than group settings.

As Braver Angels continues its mission of promoting civil discourse and understanding, collaborations like these serve as beacons of hope, inspiring individuals and communities to navigate differences with empathy and respect.