Positive Change Starts with You
Together we can create a more collaborative country by starting with respectful conversations. Common Respect created the Pledge and Conversation Guide to help achieve that goal.
1. Speak with Respect
Use respectful language when speaking to or about other people and groups. Show your fellow Americans the same respect you would like to receive.
2. Listen to Understand
Actively listen without judgment to gain deeper understanding.
Look for common values and concerns.
3. Seek Positive Outcomes
Be proactive and start productive conversations or projects. We each have the ability to change things for the better.
The Common Respect Conversation Guide can help you have better discussions on sensitive topics.
- What are your views on the topic?
- What led you to feel that way?
- What are you most concerned with about the topic?
- What is your ideal outcome?
- What solutions appeal to you?
- How would you implement those solutions?
- Are there other options that might work?
- What are you most hopeful about the topic?
Here are some ways to phrase a disagreement respectfully. Start by thanking them for sharing.
- “You may be right. My concern is…” (most agreeable)
- “My concern is…” (does not invalidate)
- “I am not sure if I agree” (indirect disagree)
- “I disagree for these reasons” (respectfully disagree)
- Consider starting with an easy topic or personal questions about them that can help you gain rapport.
- Treat the conversation as a dialogue rather than a debate.
- Avoid ‘Why’ questions as they can sound judgmental.
- Don’t generalize the views of people in other groups as they may not all agree.
- Don’t use loaded terms like conspiracy, stupid, crazy, lefties etc.
- Avoid raising your voice, name-calling, mocking, or negative body language.
- If a conversation becomes overly heated or either one of you cannot control their anger, take a break or politely end the conversation.
- It is okay if you did not agree afterwards. New information can take time to absorb and understanding is the true purpose of the conversation.
This short inspiring video shows just how transformational respectful communication and actions can be. Darly Davis has helped over 200 KKK members renounce their membership.
Common Respect was created by Jesse Karras, a graphic designer who felt the need to do something to positively change the direction of our political conversations. After much research he came up with this simple but transformational idea. Pledge Common Respect and share it with others. Thank you for your support.
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