Sidewalk Talk

Dr. Tania Israel on making perspective-taking sexy | Dr. Tania Israel

July 27, 2021

Author and professor Dr. Tania Israel wants to make perspective-taking sexy again. Her book, Beyond Your Bubble, is all about reaching beyond our differences to find where even the most vehemently opposed, politically and otherwise, can find common ground. On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci talks with Tania about why conversations about political differences are so challenging right now, the concept of intellectual humility, and the skill and attitude we need to cultivate as a society in order to grow (hint: it’s listening and curiosity). 

Dialoging about our differing political opinions can be so difficult right now, especially in an age where social media and 140-character tweets are the norm. Tania wants to help us move away from moral posturing and towards a place where we actually sit down and have a nuanced conversation with someone, whether they believe what we do or not. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one Tania, and so many like her, are willing to embark upon. Don’t miss this timely episode!  


Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:50] Meet Dr. Tania Israel 

[06:51] Why conversations about political differences are so challenging 

[10:03] Moral posturing and politics 

[13:07] Social media’s ability to polarize 

[16:38] Lifting up the voices of those in the middle 

[20:44] What compelled Tania to write Beyond Your Bubble 

[24:49] The skill and attitude we need to work on as a society  

[28:00] Traci’s examples of dialoguing across political lines 

[30:57] Dialoging about differences on social media 

[33:29] The Heineken ad and bringing people together 

[35:43] How to find Tania’s work 

[36:55] Tania’s word for you 

[38:41] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide 

The Flowchart That Will Resolve All Political Conflict In Our Country 

More In Common 

The Week


Standout Quotes from the Episode

“It’s not just about a policy—it’s about taking a position about people who are on the other side of that policy, and I think that’s what’s actually creating so much damage right now.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“It feels like the standards are very narrow in terms of the ways we can prove what our values really are.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“People don’t necessarily like and retweet someone who says, ‘yeah, I can see both sides of that.’”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“We need to make perspective-taking sexy.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“I can’t try to understand somebody else through my lens, I have to try to get what their lens is, and then I can see it.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“We need to actually want to understand before we’re motivated to actually apply listening skills.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“The more types of input we have about somebody, then the easier it is to understand their perspective.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“Keep investing in other people—we need each other, and we can hold each other and knit ourselves back together.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 



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On Twitter: @Tania_Israel 



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