Positive Change Starts With Us
Together we can achieve a more united country by respectfully engaging with our fellow Americans, especially those we disagree with. Respecting people of different politics, races, genders, and religions can allow us to better understand each other so that we may work towards greater peace and prosperity. The Common Respect Principles and Conversation Guide can help us achieve this goal. We hope you will join us.
Darly Davis has helped over 200 KKK members renounce their membership from the Klan. This inspiring 6 minute video shows just how transformational Daryl’s actions have been by showing respect towards those who would otherwise seem undeserving of it.
1. Always Speak Respectfully
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 shared values and interests.
3. Seek Positive Outcomes
Start conversations or projects that encourage respectful communication and collaboration. We each have the ability to change things for the better.
The Common Respect Conversation Guide can help facilitate better discussions on sensitive topics. Establishing trust, friendship, or common interests beforehand will go a long way towards creating a more collaborative atmosphere.
- 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.
- Consider reading ‘The Righteous Mind’ by Jonathan Haidt for insights into how our moral and political beliefs are formed.
Common Respect was created by Jesse Karras, a graphic designer who felt the need to promote a message of respect that could help bridge the political and cultural divides. This project is the result of many conversations and research findings. The logo was designed to represent the opposing yet complementary forces found in nature, and the flag imagery is a reminder of our shared national identity. Thank you for your support and for sharing this project with others.
Please share your stories, suggestions, or volunteer to help.