Want to find a way to talk respectfully with your neighbors about the burning issues in our community? Want to understand how two neighbors looking at the same facts can reach opposite conclusions?
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, Lynnwood Today is presenting The 3 Practices — a methodology that individuals, schools, businesses and religious leaders are using to help people cross the difference divide. The free event begins at 7 p.m. at Edmonds Community College, Woodway Hall, Room 202. It is being co-sponsored by Edmonds Community College and Campbell Auto Group.
While attendees will learn general principles to facilitate a respectful conversation on any topic, the Jan. 30 event will focus on a particular subject of recent interest not only locally but regionally in recent months: affordable housing and homelessness.
The facilitators are Jim Henderson and Jim Hancock, co-creators of The 3 Practice Group Method. They will explain what makes the 3 Practices work, and then quickly dive into modeling a group so that those attending can witness the process firsthand. Following this opening round, attendees will have the opportunity to respond, ask questions, and then try their hand at the first of the 3 Practices: “I’ll be unusually interested in others.” The event will wrap up with audience observations about the issues discussed.
Since 2016, over 40 of these 3 Practice events have been presented on hot topics of the day, including immigration, politics, race, diversity, gun control and economic inequity.
“After watching our community struggle with how to respectfully discuss issues related to affordable housing and homelessness — both at public meetings and in online commentary — it became clear to me that we all could use some training in how to better listen to each other,” said Lynnwood Today publisher Teresa Wippel. “I look forward to personally participating in this training with other Lynnwood Today readers as well as the broader community, and to coming away with some new skills for having civil discussions.”
3 Practices co-founder Jim Henderson says his mission is to address the civility crisis facing our community and our nation:
- Friends and families are finding it hard to stay in the room with each other.
- Business owners are at a loss as to how to handle political disagreement between employees
- Schools are struggling to find models to offer their students on how to share common ground.
“That gap between ideological opponents is what we call the difference divide,” Henderson said. “Our mission is to help people acquire the tools to cross that divide without abandoning their views.”
Henderson said there are 3 Practices those who are adept at crossing this divide cultivate.
- I’ll be unusually interested in others.
- I’ll stay in the room with difference.
- I’ll stop comparing my best with your worst
“The 3 Practices help us understand without capitulating. They lower the emotional temperatureby increasing understanding between ideological opposites,” added co-founder and facilitator Jim Hancock. “Understanding doesn’t guarantee agreement, but it contributes to mutual respect when we disagree. We look forward to helping attendees refine their skills so that they can discuss tough issues in a respectful manner, regardless of personal or political ideology.”
The location is Edmonds Community College Woodway Hall Room 202, located on the second floor of Woodway Hall (near the entrance to the Lynnwood Golf Course). For directions and a campus map, visit edcc.edu/campus.