Start Your Own
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.
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.
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.
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/
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/
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?
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
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.