Life in the Time of Coronavirus
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Suggested length: 50 minutes
In the past few weeks, our experience of coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going to mean for my life?” The rapidly-spreading virus is touching all aspects of our personal and community lives. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to reflect on our experiences of this unique time and consider the potential positive outcomes from working together to meet shared challenges. Could this time of stopping an infection lead to greater citizen empathy and connection? Could the physical social distance restrictions be overcome in part by online connections? Let’s come together online to share our experiences, describe how we’re responding to the challenges we encounter, and consider both our hopes and concerns for the future.
Question Round 1: Overview and agreements
Suggested length: 4 minutes
Before starting a conversation, all participants must agree to these conversation agreements.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.