Conversation and Listening
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Students learn to 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.
The Educator will choose a topic and conversation guide and have students engage with each other on the topic at hand.
It is recommended that the educator spend at least 1⁄2 of a class period to laying the foundation for the conversation by discussing the conversation guidelines (below) and soliciting a commitment from students that they will agree to and follow the guidelines.
The conversation guide should provide a pathway for students to follow as they have their conversation.
For more resources, see our Relationships First lesson plan.
Provided by LivingRoomConversations.org
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
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 quality of the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.