This Meetup Group, hosted by members of Project Connect, uses a process called “Living Room Conversations” https://www.livingroomconversations.org/ to foster greater understanding among individuals who may have different viewpoints.
In a Living Room Conversation, a small group of people comes together to get to know one another in a more meaningful way. Guided by a simple and sociable format, participants practice being open and curious about all perspectives, with a focus on learning from one another, rather than trying to debate the topic at hand.
Using Conversation Agreements to ensure a safe space to speak and to listen, we break into groups of 5-8 people. These conversations provide ways to discover our commonalities, and appreciate our differences, and create a positive pathway for engagement in our community and In our world. At each meetup, a different topic will be addressed.
Be curious and open to learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. Enjoy hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration.
Show respect and suspend judgment. Human beings tend to judge one another; do your best not to. Setting judgments aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated.
Find common ground and note differences. Look for common ground you can agree on and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.
Be authentic and welcome that from others. Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
Be purposeful and to the point. Notice if what you are conveying is or is not pertinent to the topic at hand.
Own and guide the conversation. Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and that of the conversation. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed.
Project Connect is a non-profit action team of Finding Common Ground and Santa Cruz Indivisible.