What Are the Three Practices?

Welcome to the Three Practice blog. If you’ve found your way here by way of the No Joke Project, you may already be familiar with the idea of the Three Practices. This concept was the brain child of Jim Henderson and was cultivated over years of observing and experiencing an increasing difference divide that has hobbled our culture’s ability to have meaningful and respectful dialogue around topics that are emotionally charged. The idea of engaging with an ideological opponent in a way that yields something other than vitriol and division is a remedy we all clamor for and long to see, yet believe is hopeless, and the refusal to accept this as a foregone conclusion is what drove Jim to find a better way.

The Three Practices are a more than an ideology for interaction, they are a way of being and thinking that, when practiced regularly, become your embedded approach to anyone who disagrees with you. You pursue being unusually interested in others. You agree to stay in the room with difference. And, you commit to stop comparing your best with another’s worst. The reason we call them practices is that this takes repeated effort. We are working against the muscle memory of being me-centric to shift our thinking to being others-focused. Listening more than you speak, giving ground, moving beyond tolerance to acceptance, and not simply agreeing to disagree, but seeking to understand another perspective don’t come naturally to us, but it is the foundation of what the Three Practice Methodology is all about. It is what moves us away from “otherizing” those who are different or believe differently from us. So, the question becomes, “Will we include more and more people in the project of us? Or will we include more and more people in the project of them?”

If you are interested in joining us in the Project of Us, in crossing the difference divide, check in here each week as we explore more about the Three Practice Methodology and how it can be used in big and small ways every day, in matters of national/international importance and the simple interactions we engage in as we navigate our own corners of the world.

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