Common Ground Committee Common Ground Blog Coleman Hughes The View The 10 Attributes of a Common Ground in Action

Civil Discourse in Action: Coleman Hughes on “The View”

Common Ground Committee Common Ground Blog Coleman Hughes The View The 10 Attributes of a Common Ground in Action

In a compelling segment on “The View,” Coleman Hughes, the author of “The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America,” demonstrated the 10 Attributes of a Common Grounder, particularly in the face of challenging discourse. His approach to discussing societal ideals and policy nuances reflected a commitment to civil and constructive conversation, even under pressure.

Hughes’s perspective diverges from mainstream narratives and offers a fresh approach to race in America. His viewpoint aligns with the values echoed by early civil rights leaders who aspired to a world where freedom and justice are not distributed based on racial identity. In his discourse, Hughes posited, “Color blindness isn’t pretending not to see race; it is that we should try our very best to treat people without regard to race, both in our personal lives and our public policy.” This foundational statement not only sets the tone for a conversation aimed at understanding and progress but also offers a new lens through which to view race in America.

Despite facing challenges to his perspective on “The View,” Coleman Hughes remained composed and resilient, skillfully steering the conversation towards a productive exchange. His calm response to an ad hominem attack exemplified key Common Grounder traits—de-escalating tension, maintaining respect, and focusing on facts over winning the debate. His ability to stay focused and composed in the face of adversity is inspiring.

In a segment that nearly escalated into a heated debate, host Sunny Hostin targeted Hughes’s character while challenging his views on Martin Luther King Jr.’s concept of a “Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.” Hughes countered by explaining that we should indeed address racial inequality and the legacy of slavery but through class-based measures. Hostin cited a quote from King’s “Where Do We Go from Here,” arguing that King’s emphasis on race was explicit and vital.

Before Hughes could fully address her initial statement, Hostin suggested that many in the Black community view Hughes as a pawn used by conservative groups, calling him a charlatan. Rather than retaliate, Hughes redirected the conversation to the original topic, clarifying that the “special” actions referenced in King’s book aligned with King’s advocacy for a “Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.” Despite Hostin’s continued challenge in the context of King’s quote, Hughes adroitly managed to steer the discussion away from personal attacks, asserting his independence and previous voting record to counter the ad hominem tactics employed. His commitment to the 9th and 10th Attributes of a Common Grounder—Resisting Demonizing and De-escalating Hostile Situations—was evident as he navigated the conversation toward a more constructive and less personal direction.

While it is unrealistic to expect to find common ground in every discussion, the importance of maintaining civility cannot be overstated. Hughes’s demeanor and strategic responses during the debate upheld the principles of civility. He exemplified the 10 Attributes of a Common Grounder, mainly focusing on Resisting Demonizing and De-escalating Hostile Situations. His approach underscores the importance of focusing on constructive dialogue and mutual respect. For those looking to engage in similarly productive conversations, embracing these attributes can provide a framework for fostering understanding and respect. Consider downloading the complete list of the 10 Attributes to guide your discussions and enhance your communicative effectiveness. Remember, even in the most challenging discussions, maintaining civility can lead to productive outcomes.

Common Ground Committee Civility Blog Common Ground Path to Productivity

Common Ground: A Path to Productivity

Common Ground Committee Civility Blog Common Ground Path to Productivity

In today’s turbulent political landscape, the question of whether civility is productive is more relevant than ever. A study published in the Cambridge University Press on November 28, 2023, delves into this specific question, shedding light on the relationship between civility and legislative efficiency. Utilizing data from the National Survey of State Legislative Lobbyists, researchers constructed a civility index for each state and analyzed its correlation with legislative outcomes. The results were intriguing and highly relevant in today’s polarized political landscape.

The study revealed a striking correlation: states with a higher civility index tended to pass a greater quantity and percentage of proposed legislation. This correlation underscores the efficiency that can thrive within a civil environment. It suggests that when individuals engage in respectful and constructive dialogue, they are more likely to reach a consensus and enact meaningful change through legislation.

As the divide between political ideologies deepens, the necessity for civility in discourse becomes increasingly apparent. It’s imperative that we glean from this study and actively advocate for civility. At Common Ground Committee, we provide a pragmatic tool—the Common Ground Scorecard. This tool equips voters with the ability to evaluate the dedication of elected officials and candidates to seek common ground on crucial issues. By employing the Scorecard, voters assume a vital role in electing leaders who prioritize civility, thereby contributing to a more efficient state government.

The selection of civil leaders has a profound impact on the effectiveness of governance. By endorsing candidates committed to respectful dialogue, voters lay the foundation for improved decision-making and outcomes. Let us together mold a government that esteems and ensures civility and productivity. Join us, along with many others, in utilizing the Common Ground Scorecard to foster unity and progress for all. Together, we can cultivate a political environment where civility triumphs, propelling positive change for the betterment of our communities.

Voting in Primaries

The Importance of Voting in Primaries

With the Republican primaries underway, now is a good time to discuss the importance of voting in the primaries. Nearly 90% of congressional elections are decided in the nominating contests. That’s a striking number, and one that demands a simple action: Vote in the primaries.

Some states have “open primaries,” in which any registered voter can cast a ballot regardless of party affiliation (or lack thereof). However, in states with “closed primaries,” voters must be registered with a party to participate in that side’s nominating contests.

And that’s where most congressional races are decided. The data is clear: The vast majority of U.S. House districts lean so far to either party that often the result is a foregone conclusion. In 2020, just one-quarter of the voting-eligible population participated in the presidential primaries. And when considering the districts that determined control of the House, just 10% of voters selected 83% of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a study by Unite America.

With primary elections increasingly deciding the outcome of a race, it’s important that voters engage in the entire process when possible. For partisans, that’s easy. In every state, voting-eligible people who are registered with a party can vote in that party’s primaries. While primary voting is often limited to just party members, other states allow all registered voters to participate.

Advocates of open primaries argue that closed systems are unfair to independents (who make up about more than 40% of the electorate), produce more extreme nominees, and, as publicly funded elections, should be open to everyone.

Opponents argue only members of a party should be allowed to select its nominees and open primaries are subject to subversion by voters of another party hoping to nominate an “unelectable” candidate. (Research out of Marquette University argues such sabotage, if it exists, would cancel itself out.)

Others have argued that partisans in places where their party may be unlikely to win a general election (say, Democrats in Mississippi or Republicans in Massachusetts) should vote in the opposing party’s primary, not to sabotage the race but to try to nominate a more moderate candidate.

Because so few people – the most partisan people – are determining primary winners, candidates who appeal to party wings are most likely to advance to the general election. Voters are then asked to choose between candidates who have ignored the middle. But there are still options for finding candidates who are willing to work across the aisle.

One tool is the Common Ground Scorecard, which assesses elected officials and candidates on their willingness to pursue solutions through listening and productive conversation, rather than scoring political points. Using nearly 20 objective and subjective data points from a variety of bipartisan sources, the Scorecard can help voters determine which candidates to support if good policymaking is more important than party identity. It considers five key areas:

  • Official Performance — bipartisan bill sponsorship for legislators or bipartisan job approval for executives
  • Personal Actions — public conversation across political differences and joining an official from the opposing party for a visit of their district
  • Communication — promoting common ground
  • Commitments — affirmation of Common Grounder Commitments
  • Outstanding Common Grounder — awarded for common ground behavior or boldly champions common ground

The Scorecard grades incumbents and candidates for five offices: president, vice president, senator, House member, and governor. Try it out now.

Learn how your state handles primary voting.

Check the primary date for your state.

Bruce Bond Common Ground Committee Co-Founder

Statement on the Passing of Our Co-Founder, Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond Common Ground Committee Co-Founder

Like democracy, Common Ground Committee is based on an enduring principle and idea: respecting and listening to one another to understand other points of view is the basis for solving problems. The values of Common Ground Committee transcend any individual. They are based on care for the country and a commitment to counter division by illuminating solutions by discovering common ground. The Co-Founders of Common Ground Committee have tenaciously advanced these ideas while relentlessly rejecting the notion that destructive polarization is inevitable.

This spirit of Common Ground Committee’s work will continue following the passing of Co-Founder Bruce Bond in late December.

The loss of Bruce to his family, community, Common Ground Committee, and the larger movement of bridging divides is significant. His tireless effort, in partnership with Co-Founder Erik Olsen and other CGC colleagues, to successfully convene hundreds of elected officials, thought leaders, media representatives, and experts across the political spectrum produced abundant evidence that finding common ground is not an extraordinary task but can be supremely natural if those discussing a polarizing issue do so with respect, facts, and a willingness to compromise without sacrificing personal values.

Bruce was principled, professional, and personable. He was an authoritative figure on the issues of polarization. More importantly, he was a guiding light on how it can and must be overcome. His optimism has been infectious. His intelligence has been influential. His love for his fellow man was clearly displayed. Bruce’s impact on how hundreds of thousands of people think about solving societal problems is lasting.

Common Ground Committee now pursues its work with honor to Bruce, reflecting his commitment, conviction, and wise counsel which he demonstrated daily. Bruce’s family has asked that, instead of flowers, individuals touched by Bruce’s kindness and leadership consider contributing to Common Ground Committee. You can do this by texting CGC to 53-555 or visit

Common Ground Committee Blog Erik Olsen Bruce Bond 2023 Year-End Review

Our Founders’ End of Year Message

Common Ground Committee Blog Erik Olsen Bruce Bond 2023 Year-End Review

As 2023 closes and 2024 begins, there is reason for both hope and concern about our nation’s politics and the threat of political violence moving forward.

Hope can be found primarily in the growing pushback from the public on the stalemate, name-calling, and anger manifested by many of our citizens and elected leaders. Judy Woodruff’s PBS series America at a Crossroads tells about how that is manifested. Less visible is the growing set of elected officials who want to be perceived as bipartisan rather than ideological. We have received numerous requests from officials’ staffers to learn how they can raise their score in the Common Ground Scorecard, a tool we created for voters to allow them to see which of their candidates are the most bipartisan. Dean Philips (D-MN), running against Joe Biden for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, rarely speaks or does an interview without stating that he is the second highest-rated politician in the Common Ground Scorecard.

But concern remains. Just the presence of former President Trump in the election provides an injection of fear that there will be political violence approaching, during, and after the election.  The sudden and rocket-like propulsion of the Middle East conflict that is serving to divide our citizens further is making it that much harder for Americans to see how it is going to be possible to live peacefully with those they disagree with.

As we look across the landscape, we are struck by the fact that we, the people, can and will make the greatest impact, positive or negative. We will either get into the vortex of the fight and continue to stand for this cause or against that cause. Or, we can decide to stop, take a deep breath, resist the urge to attack, and instead listen and work to understand why that person we disagree with believes as they do. Just that conversation can diffuse the tension. If enough of us do this, and if our leaders follow *our* lead, it can revolutionize how our government operates.

The choice is yours. Will you make the right one? We hope so. We will encourage that approach as we head into and move beyond the Holidays, and we hope you‘ll go with us.

For now, may you and yours enjoy a wonderful Holiday season. We will see you next year!

All best,
Bruce and Erik

Common Ground Committee Holiday Voting Guide

Your Essential Guide to Civil Political Conversations this Holiday Season

Common Ground Committee Holiday Voting Guide

Around many dining tables this holiday season, there’ll be an extra guest in the room. The elephant, of course. Politics, and all the differing opinions about the tumultuous events of the past year.

We live in divisive times, and unfortunately, our difficulty reaching across the aisle can extend to reaching across the table. Whether or not your gatherings this year include extended relatives, conversations, even among immediate siblings, parents, and significant others, can cover a lot of rocky terrain over a long day and evening.

This year might seem a lot more fraught than most. But the same guidelines for civil conversations apply, even leaving room for constructive disagreement. Let’s have a look at the attributes of folks who seek to meet on common ground, rather than simmer in the far corners of the room.

Tap into the power of listening

The importance of listening in productive dialogue should not be underestimated. It’s through active listening that both parties feel heard and validated, which in turn enriches conversation and cuts unnecessary tension. Listening first this holiday season can help you make connections, find empathy, and put you in a better position for meaningful discussions around the dinner table. Without listening, it can be easy to get stuck in arguments and never reach common ground. In order to save more time for food and merriment, consider using the power of listening when engaging with family and friends this year.

Commit to seeking agreement rather than “winning”

It’s difficult to achieve a balanced conversation based on connecting with someone if you’re constantly formulating your next retort. You have to actively listen to their points, rather than crafting your own retaliation. You never know — you might even find yourself swayed a bit by their insights. You don’t have to aim to end the night by winning or losing and certainly not by compromising your principles. You just have to get to a civil place where you can agree to disagree and pass the cranberry sauce with a pleasant expression.

Remember it’s possible for good people to disagree

We all have very different backgrounds that make us who we are and have shaped the principles we hold firm. But different values and beliefs aren’t synonymous with good and bad. Very different formative experiences can create strong, fundamental differences. If you sense you aren’t going to be able to meet amicably in the middle with this person, perhaps it’s best to find a pivot to another aspect of the conversation.

Use facts, not emotion

Emotional arguments aren’t a great basis for a conversation, because if both people are speaking from the heart in heated opposition, it’s hard to arrive at the conclusion that it’s possible for good people to disagree. If you have good facts, figures, and statistics, open your toolbox and use them. But let the other person do the same — and if theirs are solid, acknowledge that, even if it doesn’t fit well with your narrative.

Bring down the temperature

If you find the conversation becoming too heated, do whatever you can to de-escalate a potentially hostile situation. Name-calling and tossing around stereotypes are indicators that things are traveling in the wrong direction. Don’t give in to the temptation to reciprocate with pejorative terms of your own. Storytelling is one way to grab attention — just make sure the takeaway is one of neutrality or learning something unexpected. And remember – family is always more important than politics.

Want more tips on healing the divide over Thanksgiving or any gathering? Watch our webinar “Ten Ways to Heal the Divide,” with Living Room Conversations founder Joan Blades and founder of Bridge USA, Manu Meel, moderated by Common Ground Committee co-founder, Bruce Bond.

Get ready for the holiday season by downloading Common Ground Committee’s “Essential Guide to Better Political Conversations this Holiday Season.”

Common Ground Committee Common Grounder Blog Across the Aisle

Across the Aisle

Common Ground Committee Common Grounder Blog Across the Aisle

On November 7, 2023, the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, moderated by our Co-Founder and CFO, Erik Olsen, and hosted by Allstate, brought together political leaders from both sides of the aisle to engage in meaningful dialogue. At a time when divisions are deep, this event highlighted the importance of collaboration and consensus-building.

“Moderating the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, I was heartened to see a dialogue that mirrors the mission of Common Ground Committee: to bridge divides. The constructive exchange between party representatives clearly demonstrated the progress we can achieve through collaborative effort.” – Erik Olsen

Representatives Troy Carter (D-LA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) were pivotal at the ‘Across the Aisle’ forum, showing how divergent political ideologies can find common ground. Their cooperative dialogue, tackling mutual concerns like coastal conservation, emphasized the forum’s objective to foster policy consensus that resonates with our collective values and bolsters our communities.

The ‘Across the Aisle’ forum didn’t just highlight the pressing priorities of Louisiana; it also underscored the enduring spirit of American collaboration. Such events carve paths for significant change, powered by shared values and a commitment to the common good.

i voted sticker 2024


i voted sticker 2024


At Common Ground Committee, our goal is to bring individuals together from all sides to bring light, not heat, to public discourse.  We also believe voting is every citizen’s right, responsibility, and privilege. 

We are here to help you through the voting process — from registering and finding your voting location (or learning how to vote remotely) to learning about the issues and the candidates. 

Get started now with the few easy steps below!

5 Easy Steps to Vote 

Each one of these steps is critical to making your opinion, voice, and vote count on election day.


Whatever your political preference, your right to vote gives you the chance to be heard and impact the direction of our country. According to data from the U.S. Census Data, in the 2022 midterm elections, 48 percent of voters did not fill out their ballots. Why? Many Americans don’t know enough about the registration and voting process or deadlines. Rock the Vote provides an easy link to start your registration in moments. Vote411 from the League of Women Voters Education Fund can also help you check your registration status, get registered, and find information about the issues.


In 2022, 31.9% of voters opted for mail-in ballots, a crucial alternative for those facing transportation challenges. For individuals with limited access to transit, understanding the mail-in ballot process is vital to ensure their ability to participate in the electoral process. If you aren’t requesting an absentee ballot, make sure you know where you can vote — and have a plan to get there. Despite the increase in absentee ballots, many still struggle with accessing transportation to the polls. Ride-share and volunteer transportation assistance are available nationwide to help seniors and others with mobility challenges get to the polls.


Before you cast your vote, make sure you’re informed about the candidates and their stances on today’s issues. Tools like BallotReady and Vote Smart help sort the information on thousands of politicians and the thousands of issues at stake. Common Ground Committee also has a unique tool, the Common Ground Scorecard, to rate politicians on how well they reach across the aisle to find common ground.


Some states require proof of identification to vote. Make sure you have the correct personal identification needed in your state (if any) to cast your ballot. 


Whether it’s your first time voting or you’ve exercised your right many times, making it a priority to get there is the most crucial step of all. You have a voice and privilege, so stand up for your beliefs. Races can be closer than you’d imagine — so just do it!

Resources for Informed Voting

A sign of a healthy democracy at work is an active network of advocates providing the tools for an educated population. Here are some of ours here in the U.S.


Ballotpedia is a non-profit organization that educates the public on current political issues, elections, candidates, and more. Whether you are considering running for office, contemplating your voting options, or looking for the latest news from an unbiased source, Ballotpedia is a tool committed to clarity and neutrality.

Instagram: @ballotpedia
Facebook: @Ballotpedia
Twitter: @ballotpedia


Looking for information on the latest candidates and elected officials? Vote Smart has profiles, voting records, contact information, issue positions, public statements, and more. One of its key features is the “Political Courage Test,” which offers unique transparency: insight into how likely candidates are to give straightforward answers to voters’ questions.

Facebook: @ProjectVoteSmart
Twitter: @VoteSmart

TOOL #3: VOTE411

Vote411 is a one-stop-shop for the information you need for the election process: the ability to check your registration status, register, find upcoming events, discover (and decipher) questions on your ballot, simplify steps for first-time voters, and more. An interactive state-by-state map is a hallmark of the site.

Instagram: @vote411
Facebook: @vote411
Twitter: @VOTE411


It’s critical for all citizens to participate in the political process; that’s the belief that drove the formation of When We All Vote. This nonpartisan non-profit organization was founded in 2018 by Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Their ideology? That the country is in a better place and can move forward successfully when, you guessed it — we all vote.

Instagram: @whenweallvote
Facebook: @WhenWeAllVote
Twitter: @WhenWeAllVote


Let us be one of your trusted resources! The Common Ground Scorecard is your free online guide for identifying candidates seeking common ground to progress on the issues. Interactive features (such as a map) help you identify your elected officials (so you don’t have to look them up), making it easy to use. 

You can even compare up to six candidates.

Instagram: @commongroundcommittee
Facebook: @commongroundcommittee
Twitter: @commongroundcom


ActiVote’s easy-to-use nonpartisan app – learn more about the features – educates voters on important issues, when and where they can cast their vote, connects them with their elected officials, and allows them to make their voice heard by quickly answering key polling questions. Join voters in all 50 states, of all parties, and of all ages & join in on #DailyDemocracy. Try it on the web or mobile on GooglePlay or the Apple App Store.


Check back here for future updates on voting. Also, check out our ballot, and sign up for our newsletter for more resources to help you vote! 




Common Ground Committee co-founders Bruce Bond and Erik Olsen attended an invitation-only, bipartisan event on September 12, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The National Governors Association (NGA) held the event headed by Chair Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R). They joined other leaders in the bridge movement.

The event was the first in a series of bipartisan events to further the goals of Gov. Cox’s Disagree Better initiative to address toxic polarization in America. 

What is the National Governors Association and the Disagree Better Initiative?

Per the NGA website, “Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is a bipartisan organization of governors of the 55 states, territories, and commonwealths whose mission is to share best practices, speak with an informed voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions to improve citizens’ lives through state government and support the principles of federalism.”

The Disagree Better initiative is a specific program aimed at promoting healthy debate.  They state, “The Disagree Better initiative will look at the problems of polarization, elevate the solutions that groups around the country are already implementing, and feature Governors showing what disagreeing better looks like. Through public debates, service projects, public service announcements, and various other tactics, Americans will see a more optimistic way of working through our problems.”

The NGA Disagree Better Event

The following governors attended:

Other attendees of the event include:

  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R)
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D)
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D)
  • Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D)
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R)

Several bridge movement leaders attended as well.

Every year, the NGA Chair gets to select a particular issue and launch an initiative dedicated to solving it. Past NGA Chair initiatives have focused on issues such as youth mental health, computer science education in K-12 schools and infrastructure. Launched in July, Gov. Cox’s Disagree Better initiative seeks to address our nation’s toxic polarization and teach Americans how to have healthier disagreements.

The initiative recognizes that the “exhausted majority” of Americans are fed up with the level of incivility in our current political process and seeks to show the American people a “more positive and optimistic way of working through our problems” through a series of various bipartisan events.

Common Ground Committee applauds Gov. Cox and the NGA for their commitment to advocating for a healthier, more civil way of talking to one another to find common ground and move forward on the myriad of challenging issues facing our nation.

Building Bridges in Education – A Comprehensive Guide for Students’ Success and Growth

Your Essential Guide to Civil Conversations

In many educational environments, there’s no avoiding the mix of excitement and tension. New subjects, adapting to different teaching styles, and the contrasting approaches to studying and collaboration among peers. These experiences can become complex, especially when students, coming from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, must work together. It may feel more intricate and challenging than usual to find common ground and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

But let’s remember the importance of civil dialogue, even when allowing for constructive disagreement. It’s about collaboratively seeking solutions, rather than taking up positions on opposing sides. Let’s look at those attributes that are useful for finding common ground, rather than simmering off in the far corners of the room.


We all carry personal beliefs, biases and opinions. As you approach a conversation, be aware of yours. Be willing to test them against new information and recognize when they may be closing your thought to what the other person is saying.


Approach discussion or debates with an objective of trying to find common ground and solutions, not win arguments. Use a “let’s work it out” attitude.


It’s hard to work with someone if you aren’t listening to them. It’s also difficult to engage in a dialogue until the other person knows you have heard them. Active listening establishes the foundation for real communication. It provides the opportunity for the “I never thought of it that way” moment.


Understanding the motives and intentions behind someone’s position is necessary to finding common ground. The challenge comes when we assume, often erroneously, that we know those motives and intentions because we have accepted commonly held beliefs about people who take that position. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, ask the questions that clarify the person’s true motivation.


Rather than emotional arguments, bring verified facts to the conversation. If you are presented with verified facts, accept them, even when they don’t fit your narrative. It’s fine to examine them carefully and to see if something is missing, but don’t reject them dogmatically.


Don’t go into a discussion with predetermined expectations of the outcomes. Be prepared to be flexible and work to find an approach that addresses concerns of all parties (including yours). But don’t feel obligated to go along with something that you feel violates your principles. Be prepared to “agree to disagree.”


Because people have different experiences and viewpoints, they may not share your values. It’s not necessary to always agree on what’s important or why. But it is crucial not to equate a difference in values with whether a person is good or bad. Don’t let arguments divert you from appreciating your fellow person. If someone is unreasonably dogmatic in a way that violates your principles, it may be best not to engage.


Watch what you are saying and how you are saying it so that you don’t degrade the quality of the conversation. Eliminate pejoratives from your vocabulary. If your temperature starts to rise, take a breath and shift to a different line of discussion.


There are two points to be made here:

  • Name calling and personal attacks on groups and individuals are currently part of everyday political conversation. Don’t succumb to the temptation to use these methods.
  • Watch your own thinking. When you hear these types of attacks, don’t accept them. The more you do, the harder it will be to engage with others.


  • This is about controlling your thought and thereby your actions.
  • Be alert to everyone’s temperature. It may be best to shift to a different line of discussion or a totally different topic before people become angry with each other.
  • If you find yourself in a hostile situation, don’t contribute to the hostility. Identifying and expressing what you appreciate about the other person’s ideas and intent can help. As with attribute 7, don’t let arguments – even heated ones – divert you from appreciating your fellow person.