1:1 Conversations Across Differences

What is a 1:1 Conversation?

A novel way for different types of people to connect personally and as citizens who are concerned for their country.  The process involves two structured 1-hour conversations between two people using an online platform.

If you’re thinking of participating in 1:1 conversations, just jump on into it! You’ll be glad for the experience!
–Deena Recker, conservative

I think of each conversation as a sturdy brick. A brick is a small thing, but thousands of bricks together–thousands of pairs of people talking to each other–can build a mighty bridge.
–Donna Murphy, liberal

My conversation partner and I found that through our discussions, framed by Braver Angels guidelineswe could rationally and reasonably consider sensitive topics and consider possibilities for joint actions to resolve them. As we shared and listened to one another, we agreed that “we the people” can frame the conversation, instead of media and politicians, to develop avenues of action on topics that currently divide us so deeply. It was quite amazing. We have decided to try to meet once a month to get to know each other better and continue our conversations and encourage others to do the same.
–Brenda Murphy, conservative
 
This was a great experience. It demonstrates how the world is changed: one person at a time from the inside out.
–Tim Holmes, liberal

The Four Types of Conversations

Red/Blue

Connecting one conservative and one liberal/progressive

Conversation About Race, Ethnicity and Culture

Connecting two people from different racial, ethnic or cultural groups

Conversation Across Generations

Connecting one person 18-30 years old with one person 61+ years old

Rural/Urban

Connecting one rural or small-town dweller with one person from an urban or suburban area

The Goals

✓ More understanding of the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of the other person

✓ Discovering any areas of commonality

✓ Ideas for how to bridge differences for the sake of our communities and our country

The Process

  • Emphasizes storytelling, listening, and learning rather than declaring or debating.
  • Both people share and learn. Neither is teaching the other or giving feedback about how to think or say things differently.
  • Participants take turns responding to a series of questions of increasing depth, with the other person listening without cross talk, and then sharing what they learned about the other’s views and experiences, and seeing if there is something in common.
  • Ends with both people coming up with action ideas to make a difference.
  •  After the structured conversations are over, participants often decide to continue talking to each other in unstructured conversations. This allows them to dig deeper into issues, ask the other’s opinion about current events, and keep up with their partner’s health, pets, children or grandchildren.

Info on Conversation Types

Listen to the Audio Introduction

It's About Relationships

Please listen to Bill Doherty’s mandatory 2.5-minute audio introduction.

Read an optional 2-minute article by Donna N. Murphy.

Please listen to Bill Doherty’s mandatory 2 1/2 minute audio introduction.

It's About Relationships

Read an optional 2-minute article by Donna N. Murphy

Sign Up Information

After reading the information on Page Two, you can either find your own conversation partner or click “Sign Up Now” for us to find you a partner. 

Our ability to pair you depends entirely on who else signs up that is different from you. Sometimes sign-ups are lopsided.  It may take a while, so please be patient. 

On the sign-up form, please rank your preference of conversations.  You must rank at least two preferences, and we encourage you to rank all the conversations that apply to you in the event we cannot give you your first or second choice. All four conversations are excellent! We appreciate your flexibility. 

If you want a second conversation with someone else, we will work to pair you again provided you fill out the sign-up form again after you complete your first conversation. If you do not fall into one of the categories listed in the next paragraph, we can pair you for a maximum of two conversations. If you want more, please do find your own conversation partners. 

We especially encourage the following types of people to sign up for multiple conversations: Reds for a Red/Blue conversation; Rural/Small-town dwellers for a Rural/Urban conversation; 18-30 year olds for a Conversation Across Generations; and non-White people for a Conversation about Race, Ethnicity and Culture.  

Note: We do not vet participants. We assume that those who sign up for these conversations do so in good faith. In the rare instance that someone we pair you with behaves in an utterly inappropriate manner, let us know at 1-1@braverangels.org so that we do not pair them with anyone else.

Braver Angels Support