It seems that increasing numbers of people in our country are having trouble talking with and listening to each other. Whether it’s in airports, at school board meetings, in Congress or within families, too often people yell at each other, talk past each other, or just refuse to talk, or listen.
Conversations for Our Times is designed to help people learn how to talk with people with whom they disagree. It’s modelled after a National Public Radio program that’s been used with over 2,000 people since 2018. The program's goal is to help people with different opinions about a political or social issue learn how to listen to each other, try to understand why the other person feels the way they do, and see the humanity in the other. We do this by having pairs of people engage in a conversation lasting 45-60 minutes. Before these conversations participants are briefed on the program’s goal and ground rules: listen for understanding, not to argue. Explain your own views and ask each other questions to better understand where they’re coming from. In addition to exploring your differences, find out what you have in common. Conversations are recorded and can be shared with others who may want to participate in the program or learn how to bring it to their own organization or community.
For more information contact the program coordinator, Rebecca Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org.