1:1 Red / Blue Conversation (2nd Conversation)

Overview
Overview:  This conversation guide provides an opportunity to talk 1:1 with someone outside of your own political group about what you each believe and want for the country.  This is the second of two 1-hour conversations that are self-directed and non-facilitated, following 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.
Related Resources

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 settling in and making sure audio / 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:
  • Gain more understanding of the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of someone who differs with you in today’s politically polarized environment. 
  • Discover areas of commonality in addition to differences. 
 
Ground Rules:
  1. We’re here to explain our views and to understand the other person, not to convince the other person to change their mind. 
  2. We’re here as individuals. Let’s not assume the other person holds any particular views of a political party or political leader—unless they say they do.
  3. We’re going to describe our own views and avoid characterizing the views of the other person in terms they don’t use themselves. In other words, no applying our own labels to the other person’s positions (for example, “big government liberal” or “anti-immigrant conservative”).  
  4. We’re going 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 mistake!  We give each other permission to gently remind each other if we veer off from the process.

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Any reflections from the first conversation or thoughts since then? (3 min total)
One person at a time

If there is something you want to change this time (for example, more equal sharing of time, or sticking more closely to the questions), decide that together. Then move on to Round 2.
Round 3 (~25 minutes)

Political Issues of Importance to Each of Us

Overview:  In this conversation you will alternate talking about an 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 a different issue.) 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.
 
Topic 1
 
Talk about your view of an issue that’s important to you. Say why it’s important in terms of your values, life experiences, and concerns for the country.
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.
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.

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. Say why it’s important in terms of your values, life experiences, and concerns for the country.
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.
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 (~15 minutes)

Hopes for the Country

Each of you answers this question:  What are your hopes and aspirations for our country?  (3 minutes each)                                  
 
● Suggestion: focus on the positives you hope for, rather than just the negatives you hope we avoid.
 
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.
 
 
How do you think that individual Americans like us can make a positive difference?  And how might Americans work together towards the hopes and aspirations you mentioned?  (Back and forth, 5 minutes)
Round 5 (~5 minutes)

Check Out

What are you taking with you from this Braver Angels conversation? (1 min. each)

Please say goodbye, then each take a few minutes to complete this confidential survey.