What is the 3 Practices? It’s a way to bridge ‘the difference divide’ in our community

Enter the new year learning how to talk respectfully with your neighbors about issues that matter. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, My Edmonds News will present 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.

Here are the 3 Practices.

  1. I’ll be unusually interested in others.
  2. I’ll stay in the room with difference.
  3. I’ll stop comparing my best with your worst
Jim Hancock

“The 3 Practices help us understand without capitulating,” said Jim Hancock, a facilitator and co-creator of the 3 Practice Group Method. “They lower the emotional temperature by increasing understanding between ideological opposites. 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.”

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.

On Jan. 30, The 3 Practice Group Method co-creators Jim Henderson and Jim Hancock 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.

My Edmonds News publisher Teresa Wippel said she is committed to acquiring better tools to enable respectful discussion with others, and she looks forward to participating with other community members to learn the 3 Practices.

“After observing one of these sessions first hand, I am hopeful that attendees will come away with some new skills for having civil discussions — both in person and online,” Wippel said.

Jim Henderson

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.”

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.


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