Start Your Own
Conversation

There are many ways you can start your own conversation. Food is a great start, but not required. In-person is always fun, but what about connecting (or reconnecting) with friends across the country, or meeting someone new? Start by either picking a topic or choosing the format for your conversation.

Want to find someone to have a conversation with? Check out events in your area or find someone new online with Mismatch.

Also see the conversation guides and resources specifically designed for schools, libraries, and faith communities.

Pick a Topic

Read up about our official topics. Each topic page has links to events you can join on that topic and conversation resources from some of our organizing partners.

Browse Resources

The Family Dinner Project

With our online dinner program, Food, Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners, you can make family dinners a household staple in just four weeks.

Conversation Café

Conversation Cafés are open, hosted conversations in cafés as well as conferences and classrooms—anywhere people gather to make sense of our world.

Civic Dinners

A Civic Dinner is a conversation over dinner, with a host, 6-10 guests, three big questions, with equal time to share and one voice at a time. www.CivicDinners.org

Living Room Conversations

Living Room Conversations can take place in person or online video chat. There are six easy steps to hosting your own!

The People's Supper

Looking for ways to gather your friends and acquaintances in a different and thoughtful way? We're here to help you host a supper that invites belonging, fortifies community, and cultivates connection.

Mismatch

Get matched with someone with a different background and political perspective for a respectful, guided video conversation. mismatch.org/

Ask Big Questions

Ask Big Questions is offering a special NWOC edition of our How Do We Listen? conversation guide to support the #ListenFirst message of NWOC.

AllSides

Visit AllSides.com for the latest news and issues from all perspectives. www.allsides.com

AllSides Balanced Dictionary

Explore 300 words and issues which reveal how people across the political spectrum define, think and feel differently about the same term or issue. www.allsides.com/dictionary

Red Blue Together

We are looking for stories from Americans like you of friends and couples across political divides, in order to share them and show we are more than our political beliefs. www.redbluetogether.org/share-your-stories

National Foundation for Women Legislators​

We encourage elected women across the country and across the aisle for civil discourse, take part in the #NWOC and host events in their states. www.womenlegislators.org/grab-n-go/nfwl-civility-ambassador-program/

Intentional Insights

This guide to collaborative truth-seeking helps participants handle disagreements in a productive manner by steering away from arguments and toward figuring out the truth on any topic. intentionalinsights.org/win-arguments-collaborative-truth-seeking/

NH Listens

A super short webinar to make sure your week of conversation includes student and youth voice: Local Listens Virtual Roundtable: A Look at Student Voice and Community Impact https://carsey.unh.edu/nhlistens/events

Get Better Outcomes

Better Outcomes seeks to help people learn how to lower the level of Evil Speech & Verbal Abuse. We also consider it our job to protect people from habitual users and abusers. getbetteroutcomes.org/10-steps/

ProCon.org

Providing professionally-researched pro, con, and related information on more than 50 controversial issues from gun control and death penalty to illegal immigration and alternative energy. www.procon.org

GetVokl

Create or join live-video conversations on web or mobile with people who care about bridging the divide in this country. beta.getvokl.com/home

Echo Listening Profile

The ECHO Listening Profile is the first cognitive-based listening assessment that enables organizations to quickly understand the listening styles and corresponding behaviors of their teams, individual employees and future hires. Take the ECHO Listening Profile for free during NWOC! Promo Code: Listenfirst18. Participation is limited to the first 100 participants. echolisteningprofile.com/take-assessment

Here are some tips to having a good conversation:

  • Be curious. What would you ask if you didn’t have an opinion or position?
  • Do not try to change each other’s views on any subject. The goal is to learn from each other and look for common ground–not to convert each other.
  • Use questions to understand and deepen your conversation. Examine your own position 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?

Conversation Agreements

No matter what topic you decide to discuss, you can help ensure the conversation is a success by deciding upon some conversation agreements ahead of time. There are lots of options here, but these three agreements are a good place to start:

Listen first to understand
Take turns
Suspend judgement

Understand the Topic from the Other Side

It can be practically impossible to have a good conversation when we don’t share the same facts or only know one side of the argument. Here are some resources to help you gain a broader perspective and deeper understanding.

  • AllSides Balanced Search finds multiple perspectives on the topic from news and other sources across the web. Google and other search engines often only give you the most popular perspective, burying or leaving out alternative viewpoints. Also check out their Topics & Issues page.

  • AllSides Balanced Dictionary reveals how different people from across the political spectrum think and feel about the same term or issue. This project started among members of the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) about 10 years ago. This politically diverse, all-volunteer team with backgrounds in professional dialogue and deliberation donated an estimated 1500 hours to this project before its initial launch.

  • ProCon.org provides thoroughly researched pro-con arguments for dozens of topics. They present controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, and primarily pro-con format.
Close Menu

basic

test

modal