We hope that all small group discussions are lively and enriching, but sometimes tough topics will be discussed. The Conversation Covenant* is an agreement to hold respect and grace toward all participants within a small group, no matter the conversation. Please adhere to the Conversation Covenant or think about creating one that fits your context.
*Adapted from https://conversational-leadership.net/conversation-covenant/
To act in good faith, with curiosity. I will assume the best about my conversation partners when entering into our groups. I will give the benefit of the doubt, recognizing that they may know something I don’t.
To show respect. I will show respect. I will be polite and give due regard to the feelings and traditions of others. I understand that I do not have to agree with someone to show them respect.
To speak the truth. I won’t use rhetorical tricks to try to win an argument. I will speak what I genuinely believe is the nuanced truth.
To aim to discover the truth. I will not enter into a conversation with the purpose of changing the mind of anyone to my way of thinking.
To focus on what we can change. I will focus on what we can do differently in the future since we cannot change what we did in the past.
To take responsibility for the conversation. I will take responsibility for the quality of the conversation and the abidance of the rules both in principle and in spirit.
To follow the covenant even when others fail to do so. I will abide by the rules regardless of whether another person breaks them.
To respect the confidentiality of the group. I will not share stories of group members verbally or in written form (including on social media and online outlets).
To lighten up and approach the conversation in good humor. I recognize that humor is a hallmark of a constructive, generative conversation and take the conversation in good humor.