More Curious, Less Furious

Overview
Many media and culture sources promote the idea that we should view those who disagree with us as enemies. This approach limits our ability to solve the major problems of our day. Research shows that curiosity which seeks multiple perspectives can open the mind, increase empathy, reduce fears, encourage self-awareness and promote humility. Curiosity about how and why other people arrive at values and beliefs can lead to better solutions, understanding and appreciation. Life experiences shape who we are, and sharing stories can help bridge gaps and encourage mutual respect. We can make a choice to become more curious and less furious. In this conversation we will share thoughts and experiences about choosing to be curious.

Round 1 (~4 minutes)

Overview and agreements

Many media and culture sources promote the idea that we should view those who disagree with us as enemies. This approach limits our ability to solve the major problems of our day. Research shows that curiosity which seeks multiple perspectives can open the mind, increase empathy, reduce fears, encourage self-awareness and promote humility. Curiosity about how and why other people arrive at values and beliefs can lead to better solutions, understanding and appreciation. Life experiences shape who we are, and sharing stories can help bridge gaps and encourage mutual respect. We can make a choice to become more curious and less furious. In this conversation we will share thoughts and experiences about choosing to be curious.

Before every conversation, you will be asked to read and agree to the following coversation agreements:

 Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.

Show Respect and Suspend Judgment.
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.

Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.

Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.

Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.

Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.
Round 2 (~10 minutes)

Getting to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions.

What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
What would your best friend say about who you are?
What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Round 3 (~40 minutes)

More Curious, Less Furious

Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. The group may choose to have everyone answer: A) whichever question speaks to them individually or B) the same question with an option to pass. Once everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for any clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring with other topic or related questions as time allows.

How would you rate your curiosity from one to ten? What impact has curiosity had on you?
What concerns, if any, make you hesitant to express your genuine interest in the different views of another person?
How has your life been enriched because you asked another person how they came to hold an opposing viewpoint? What happened?
How do you project your genuine desire to listen and learn rather than debate or judge?
What assumptions do people make about you or your life? What expressions of curiosity would you welcome?
Round 4 (~15 minutes)

Reflecting on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions

What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
Round 5 (~1 minutes)

Say goodbye

Say thank you and goodbye!