Checklist for Good Conversations - Version 1

This document aims to provide a high-level checklist for review of conversations. This will enable us to see where we can improve our communication skills, especially when speaking with those that hold a different view.

This document is in beta test, for feedback please email


Have open, honest two-way exchange of information where the truth may arise. Our purpose is through this we can share information that we feel is vital to for people to be aware of.

Pre-discussion - Mindset

Element Description Item
Do I accept the conditions for reaching people? It is unfair and unreasonable for us to go out of our way to reach others. This is the real situation we face right now. It is important t accept the situation in order to find solutions to it.
Is the communication channel blocked? Clear the communication channel. You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
Do I have strong negative emotions getting in my way of articulating my points? You cannot deliver a message through a closed door. It might be useful to resolve some of these as they will block our message. EFT and numerous other techniques can help resolve the strong emotions.
Do I know how to articulate my points? It is important to be able to be clear in our messaging. Part of this is due to mindset which is addressed in the mindset section of the course. Once we have a strong mindset, we then would benefit from the debating module and practice articulating our points.
How is the caricature in my mind of the person I am speaking with? This is key, if we do not break free of this mental construct we will not relate to a person as an individual but will stereotype.

Navigating resistance


Element Type Description Item
Did either of us feel threatened? Perceived Threat - Bomb Once someone perceives a threat they will go into the emotional part of the brain and react to fight, flight or freeze. This threat can also come to the ego in many forms, such as being wrong or looking foolish. This is seen in either disengaging, being angry and arguing or just not saying anything in response.

Conversational Do’s and Don’ts

1)      Honor their experience
2)      Do not return the dignity violation
3)      Do not tell someone they are wrong
4)      Avoid the trigger labels
5)      Do not step in the ring if they use trigger labels

Were we too pushy? Reactance - Bomb See Navigating resistance
Did I go off-piste or give conclusions contradicting their current beliefs? Cognitive Dissonance -Bomb You cannot tell the joke without the punchline; you cannot put the roof on without building the house.

Stay within the story
Don’t use blacklisted references at first
Do not push against beliefs
Lead the horse to water
Know when to stop
Stick to common ground such as corruption to avoid triggering

Does it feel like we are in opposition? Oppositional - Hurdle Don’t step in the ring

Separate them from the idea

Am I pushing against strong beliefs? Inertia - Hurdle I am pushing against trees. Start with common ground, low hanging fruit and making connection.

Use the Lily Pad approach

Did they feel too overwhelmed? Perceived Effort -Hurdle If it feels like they have to relearn everything, it will be overwhelming.

Use short concise, easy to understand metaphors and videos

Did we connect? Connect / Common Ground Use Lily Pad, Hotel of Knowledge, Setting the Scene

Practice listening

Give space for silence

Did I throw facts, or share stories, metaphors and as questions? Questions / Metaphor Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember. Involve me and I learn. Stories are 22 times more powerful at sticking than bare facts. Metaphors allow people to represent information and make their own pictures. Questions allow us to guide focus and bring information into awareness.

With stories there will be influence factors that can make a story land much better such as credibility. For instance, if you discuss a court case it will automatically have authority.

Did I treat them as the important one in their decisions? Moral vs Authority - To Practice Engaging a person’s moral compass. People are mostly outsourcing their decisions; it is important to show people they are the ones to decide about their lives.