More Curious, Less Furious

Conversation Guide

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Much of current media and culture tout the idea that we should view those who disagree with us as enemies. How can we solve the major problems of our day by only engaging with those who think like us? Research is showing that CURIOSITY which seeks diverse perspectives can open the mind, develop empathy, allay fears and encourage self-awareness and 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 thus less furious. In this conversation we will share thoughts and experiences about choosing to be curious.

Let's Get Started!

This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before You Begin...

Please go over the Conversation Agreements with your participants.

Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 1: Core Values

  • 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 2:

More Curious, Less Furious

Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer ​one or more of the following questions:
  • How would you rate your curiosity of people different from you? What are the ways your curiosity has benefited you?
  • What concerns, if any, make you hesitant to express your genuine interest in the different views of another person?
  • How has your life ever been enriched because you asked another person how they came to hold an opposing viewpoint? What happened?
  • In conversations, 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 3: Reflection & Next Steps

Answer ​one or more​ 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?

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