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Try a Conversation Kit & start talking


Talking to people sounds easy. But sometimes we could all use a little help especially if we want to talk with people we don't know well or talk about difficult subjects with friends or family members. We have a new tool that could help – Conversation Kits.

Each Conversation Kit contains a deck of question cards or an interactive game to spark conversation with others. You can checked out kits just like other library materials. Kits cover a variety of ages and interests, from family to work.

You could take one on a family car ride, use at work for team-building or engage with groups in your community. Use one of these resources to help you ask and listen in conversations with family and friends.

Conversation techniques

Use any of the Conversation Kits to take your conversations to another level. Set the stage for success by using "Conversation Agreements" and including these techniques:

  • Be curious and listen to understand.
  • Show respect and suspend judgment.
  • Note any common ground as well as any differences.
  • Be authentic and welcome that from others.
  • Be purposeful and to the point.
  • Own and guide the conversation.

More conversation resources

Living Room Conversations

This website has conversation guides for more than 100 different topics that are welcoming to people across the political and cultural spectrum. Popular guides include: Belonging, Empathy, Race and Ethnicity, Mental Health, Social Identity, Listening Courageously, Being White in the Anti-Racism Movement and The Opportunity Gap.  Host your own guided conversations proven to build understanding and transform communities.

Family Dinner Project

family of adults talking during dinnerMost American families are starved for time to spend together. Dinner may be the only time when we can reconnect, leaving behind our individual pursuits like playing video games, emailing and doing homework. Dinner is a time to relax, recharge, laugh, tell stories and catch up on the day’s ups and downs, while developing a sense of who we are as a family.

The Family Dinner Project is a nonprofit initiative that started in 2010. The group champions family dinner as an opportunity for family members to connect with each other through food, fun and conversation about things that matter. 

255 Conversation Starters for Family Discussions

These conversation starter questions can be adapted for kids of all ages, and work well both to launch family dinner table conversations and for one-on-one time.

Ben Franklin Circles

Circles meet regularly, using Ben Franklin’s classic 13 virtues to spark discussion about members’ goals and aspirations — who they want to be, and what they want to contribute to the world. The website offers resources for starting your own circle in person or online.

Library Book Clubs

group discussing a bookThe library hosts or co-sponsors a great variety of book clubs for people of all reading interests. It’s a great way to meet friends, find fuel for your reading energies and enjoy an evening of book conversation. We have in person and virtual book clubs.

Celeste Headlee’s TED Talk “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation”

Good conversations take time and attention. Here's how to have better ones, from a popular and experienced NPR host and interviewer.

Topeka United – Mosaic Partner Pairs

Mosaic Partner Pairs is a local initiative that builds deep and lasting individual relationships between people who may not look alike, or worship alike, or otherwise relate to family and community in the same way.

National Issues Forums

The “Forum” part of the National Issues Forums is the place where democracy comes alive. It’s where the practice of public deliberation is learned by doing. It’s an event inspired by the concerns and viewpoints of citizens, which are not just respected—they’re put to work.

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