1:1 Rural / Urban Conversation (2nd Conversation)

Overview
Overview:  This is the second of two 1-hour conversations between two people who identify with rural/small-town or urban/suburban living places and want to better understand each other's worlds. It is self-directed and non-facilitated, and follows a detailed structure. Some pairs find it useful to use a phone timer, to help stay on track and share airtime evenly, especially during parts of the conversation when you each have several minutes to talk.

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Round 1 (~3 minutes)

Review the Technical Guidelines

 
While waiting for your partner to join, review these technical guidelines for a smooth conversation experience:
 
Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Complete each conversation round together. Each person then clicks "Proceed to Next Round" to advance. If need be, you can return to a previous round by clicking on it. 

You can drag and drop your own image anywhere on the page.
 
Keep an eye on the time.
The countdown timer helps you stay on track so that you use your time well. However, your pace for each section is up to you, and you can go over the hour if you both agree.    
 
Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo. When you are speaking, remember to unmute.
 
Keep your video on at all times.
If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.
 
Having audio or video problems?
Try refreshing your browser - you'll come right back into the conversation. If this doesn't work, click "Need Help" for troubleshooting tips. 
 
We want to know if technology didn't work well for you in this conversation.  
Please send screenshots to connect@allsides.com.
 

Round 2 (~10 minutes)

Open Up the Conversation


After getting settled in and making sure the audio and video are working, silently read through the goals and ground rules again. When finished, signal that you are both on board and ready to go.

Goals
 
✔ More understanding of the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of someone who lives in a different part of the state or country
 
✔ Discovering any areas of commonality in addition to differences 
 
✔ Ideas for how we might make a difference for bridging rural/urban divides 
 
Ground Rules
 
1. We’re here to explain our views and to understand the other person, not to convince the other person to shift their attitudes or change their mind.  
 
2. We’re here as individuals.  Let’s not assume the other person holds the views of a larger group—unless they say they do.  
 
3. We’re going to stick to the process for each stage of the conversation.  Example: if the question is what we each learned about how the other person sees an issue, that’s all we do then even if it means resisting the urge to “correct” the other person’s obvious error or further explain our own viewpoint.    

4. We give each other permission to remind each other gently if we veer off from the process, as in “I think right now we’re supposed to be doing….”
 
Any reflections from the first conversation or thoughts since then? (3 min. total)

One person at a time. Listen and appreciate what each of you says. 

If there is something you want to change this time (for example, more equal sharing of the time, or sticking more closely to the questions), decide that together.  Then move on to Round 2.






Round 3 (~12 minutes)

Public Policy Issues of Importance to Each of Us - Topic 1

Overview:  In this part of the conversation you will alternate talking about a public policy issue you each care a lot about, while the other person listens. Then the listener offers their own view of the same issue. (Ideally, each of you picks an issue that is of special importance to people in your community, and one that may not always be well understood by people living elsewhere.) The goal is clarification of viewpoints and understanding of differences, along with discovering whether there are any areas of agreement.  

Decide who will go first and then alternate who goes first after that.

Talk about your view of an issue that’s important to you.

4 minutes - Other person listens.  No cross talk.

Then the other person gives their view of the same issue.  

This is an opportunity to talk about how you see the issue, rather than just counter the view of the other person (although differences are important to air). Feel free to share what you may not understand about the issue.

 It helps if you can begin with any areas of similarity or agreement.

4 minutes - Other person listens.  No cross talk.
  
Afterwards back and forth (4 minutes total) 

What did you learn about what’s important to the other person about this issue, and did you see anything in common?  

Try to listen for values, beliefs, feelings, and hopes that underlie the other person’s specific policy views on the issue.
Round 4 (~12 minutes)

Public Policy Issues of Importance to Each of Us - Topic 2

The other person shares their views on another issue.  
Same process as above:
 
Talk about your view of an issue that’s important to you.

4 minutes - Other person listens.  No cross talk.

The other person gives their view of the same issue.  

This is an opportunity to talk about how you see the issue, rather than just counter the view of the other person (although differences are important to air).  It helps if you can begin with any areas of similarity or agreement. Feel free to share what you may not understand about the issue.
 
4 minutes - Other person listens.  No cross talk.
 
Afterwards back and forth (4 minutes total) 
What did you learn about what’s important to the other person about this issue, and did you see anything in common?  
● Try to listen for values, beliefs, feelings, and hopes that underlie the other person’s specific policy views on the issue.
Round 5 (~25 minutes)

Building Bridges

Each of you answers this question:  How would it be helpful to our communities, our state, and our nation if rural and urban people understood each other better and could work together for the common good of all?  (2 minutes each)                          
 
●Suggestion: focus on your hopes and aspirations here rather than on specific action ideas.  (Those come later.)  
 
Afterwards for both:  As you listened, what stood out as most important to the other person, and did you see anything in common? 
Go back and forth for up to 4 minutes.
  
The last part is about possible action steps.

Question:  What can each of us do individually, within our own group, and together to build bridges between rural and urban people and communities?

Take a few minutes to write down a few ideas, starting with what you plan to do personally. "Actions" might include anything from speaking up more effectively within our geographic groups, to visible, public steps.

No pressure here to come up with three actions under each heading. When you are writing, take turns sharing and discussing your ideas. Feel free to take notes on what the other person proposes.

Personal actions                                                                                 Potential actions to take by all of us together
(Me as an individual)
1.                                                                                                           1.

2.                                                                                                           2.

3.                                                                                                           3.

Round 6 (~5 minutes)

Check Out

What are we each taking with us from these two Braver Angels conversations?
2 minutes each person
 
All participants please complete this quick, confidential survey to share your feedback about this conversation.

Braver Angels is harvesting ideas from these conversations. Please share two action ideas (personal or joint) that stood out from your conversation here.