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Say the Right Thing with David Glasgow (ep. 540)

David Glasgow

John O’Leary welcomes David Glasgow on the Live Inspired Podcast with practical tips to talk about identity, diversity and justice.

Have you ever unconsciously hurt someone’s feelings by the words you chose? Whether managing diverse teams at work, navigating issues of inclusion at school or challenging biased comments at a family function, having constructive diversity and inclusion conversations is important.

David Glasgow is the Executive Director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law. As a practical, shame-free guide, David shares the skills to avoid common conversational pitfalls, disagree respectfully, apologize authentically and better support others.

My friends, today’s conversation will help you listen to the perspective of others more generously and share your perspective more tentatively.

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  • Four most common mistakes when taking identity conversations are summed up in the acronym ADDA: Avoid, Deflect, Deny, Attack.
  • Have the tough conversations: Develop resiliency and curiosity by adopting a growth mindset
  • Show generosity to those who make mistakes in these conversations about differences.
  • If you’re having a disagreement with another person, try locating the conversation on the controversy scale.
  • Tips for when you disagree with someone: Acknowledge what the disagreement may mean to the other person; find areas of commonalities.
  • Before entering a conversation that has a potential of being disruptive, David suggests writing down three affirmations about yourself in order to stay grounded and frame the exchange against the broader picture of your life.
  • Take time to “name” the emotion you’re feeling (fear, anger, guilt, hopelessness) and “reframe” the interpretation of that emotion.
  • Practice radical humility. When learning about an opposing view or a new perspective, David advocates to listen generously and share tentatively.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

You’ll love Celeste Headlee. With more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist who has appeared on PBS, the BBC and NPR’s Tell Me MoreTalk of the Nation, and All Things Considered, Celeste has a unique perspective on what makes for a good conversation. Join us as she illuminates the path forward in having conversations (even difficult ones!) that actually matter on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 442.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Sum of Us by Heather McGee.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Determined in the face of adversity.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. My piano.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Barack Obama.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Not plan so much for the future.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. It’s all going to turn out okay.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. He showed compassion to others.