In sponsorship of staff representatives across campus and with support of campus leadership, 3Practice Circles have been brought to UC Merced to provide opportunity for our community to share experiences, insights and reflections on a variety of topics, practice listening in the moment, and asking questions for better understanding. Through this practice of dialoguing, we will promote community engagement and expanding curiosity, which will foster learning and growth.
FOR CROSSING THE DIFFERENCE DIVIDE
One: I'll practice being unusually interested in others - genuine curiosity
Two: I'll stay in the room with difference - we can disagree without breaking up
Three: I'll stop comparing my best with your worst - no playing gotcha
A 3Practices Circle isn't a debate, discussion, or therapy group - its a safe space for clarity and understanding - with no obligation to agree.
The Framing Question zeroes in on a real difference of opinion - an actual dispute. The Referee keeps us on time, on task, and civil. The Rules keep people safe as they pursue clarity without expecting agreement.
- A volunteer responds to the Framing Question, taking one to two minutes. Circle members listen without interrupting.
- When the volunteer concludes, anyone may ask a Clarifying Question, starting with the words, "I'd be curious to know." Questioners have 20 seconds to find the questions. The volunteer has up to 60 seconds to respond.
- Then a new volunteer takes two minutes, followed by I'd be curious to know questions.
- Following several rounds, the Circle ends with an invitation to thank someone who asked good questions or made us think.