Conversation on a Difficult Topic for the Holidays
Conversation on Election Results
Created by Courage to Lead study participants at UHN on November 21, 2016.
The conversation was designed as an exercise for grounding the chapter on “Self-Conscious Reflection” for having a thoughtful conversation on a hot topic with family members at a holiday event. The group chose the results of the American Election as a timely topic. You can adapt this conversation for other hot topics by changing the details of the questions.
In the Courage to Lead, the levels of self-conscious reflection are called
Objectivity – what is
Address – internal response
Exploration – meaning revealed
Integration – the whole event becomes part of us
Begin with an assumption of respect — that when people answer the questions, others listen to their answers and do not argue. The person facilitating the conversation can ask for other answers and encourage “yes, and” rather than “but” as the transition phrase when the next person speaks.
What happened? What facts do we know – such as who voted? (be careful to stick to verifiable observations, not generalizations)
What is the electoral college, or what other terms do we need clarification on?
What is your reaction? What are others’ reactions?
Exploration of meaning:
Why do I react this way? Why do others react this way?
What caused this? (such as social problems)?
What implications does this have?
What is our responsibility?
How do we move forward?