Write an opening paragraph to frame the conversation. Make it welcoming to people who hold differing beliefs. (Our conversation materials are reviewed by a diverse group of partners with the intent to have the paragraph be clear and free of red flags that might put off readers you would like to welcome.)
Keep the questions for round 1 the same. These questions help us get to acquainted with one another and discover our common humanity.
The “secret sauce” for Living Room Conversations are the open-ended questions in round 2. Here are some tips for developing your own great questions:
- Work with your cohost to come up with several questions that satisfy you both;
- Be curious. What would you ask if you didn’t have an opinion or position?
- Examine what your own position is on the topic. Notice if you are framing questions that favor your viewpoint or disallow other viewpoints.
- How did you develop your own perspective? What question would bring that out?
- Beware of including trigger words in your questions, like climate change, anti-___, rights and control.
Keep the questions for round 3 the same. They are designed to allow you and your guests to appreciate each other and declare any future action.
Are there any background materials you want to provide links to for people that want to do a bit of research ahead of time? We often link to www.allsides.com
materials to be transparent about bias.