OpenMind is a diverse social-learning community. What we learn together is just as important as how we learn with and from one another. For these reasons, we ask every member of the community to complete the following exercises developed by OpenMind™. The purpose is to use evidence-based tools to equip you with the habits of heart and mind to engage in more constructive and empathetic dialogue across differing backgrounds, beliefs, and values. Doing so will not only prepare you for engaging the community, but also support your personal and professional development.

Learning Objectives

1. Explore the inner workings of the mind

Uncover the tricks that our minds play on us, making us all prone to irrationality and errors in our decision-making and judgments. Learn a 3-step method to think more rationally – even in the heat of a disagreement.

2. Uncover the roots of our differences

Explore where our differences in values come from and why disagreements can be so intractable. Uncover how your heritage and life experiences have shaped your worldview and values.

3. Cultivate intellectual humility

Discover how cultivating intellectual humility and an ethic of continuous learning can help improve your relationships, decision-making, and happiness.

4. Welcome diverse perspectives

Work through an interactive mystery, and along the way, discover the benefits of engaging with diverse perspectives. Dig into the tough question of “where to draw the line” when engaging with diverse perspectives.

5. Explore other worldviews

Learn tactics to understand other people better despite our disagreements. Gain skills to identify your shared values and find common ground where you least expect it.

6. Challenge the culture of contempt

Explore the underlying psychology of why online conversations can be so toxic. Learn techniques to break toxic patterns of behavior and navigate online and in-person conversations more constructively.

7. Manage emotions during difficult encounters

Learn a practical framework based on cognitive behavioral therapy to be more in control of your emotions in difficult conversations, rather than being controlled by them. Practice reframing dichotomous thinking and other common mental traps.

8. Master difficult conversations

Gain practical skills to turn the most difficult disagreements into productive conversations. Learn techniques for listening, communicating, and getting conversations back on track if they start to go awry.