The Conversation Agreements are the secret sauce and foundation for a successful Living Room Conversation. We refer to them because they are a part of every step of the process: your original intention to have a conversation, inviting others to participate, the language you use, and the environment you create conversation itself.
Our Conversation Agreements are carefully designed to foster and encourage understanding between all participants. When you honor the Conversation Agreements there is no real need for a facilitator or moderator, anyone can run a Living Room Conversation.
Want to some more help understanding the “why” behind each agreement?
Click here to unpack the Conversation Agreements.
Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.
Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.
Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise 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 from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.
Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.
Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.