Quick How-To

The basics of Conversation Café

Conversation Café Agreements

Open-mindedness: Listen to and respect all points of view.

Acceptance: Suspend judgment as best you can.

Curiosity: Seek to understand rather than persuade.

Discovery: Question assumptions, look for new insights.

Sincerity: Speak from your heart and personal experience.

Brevity: Go for honesty and depth but don’t go on and on.


Conversation Café Process

Assemble up to 8 people plus host, hearty topic, a talking object, and time (60-90 min.). Host explains process and agreements.

Round 1: Pass around the talking object; each person speaks briefly to the topic, no feedback or response.

Round 2: Again with talking object, each person deepens their own comments or speaks to what has meaning now.

Dialogue: Open, spirited conversation. Use talking object if there is domination, contention, or lack of focus.

Final Round: With talking object, each person says briefly what challenged, touched or inspired them.


Questions to Go Deeper

  • What happened that led you to this point of view?
  • How does this affect you personally?
  • I’m curious, can you say more about that…
  • Here’s what I heard…is that what you mean?

More Resources

Quick How To

Core Principles for Conversation Café

The Complete Hosting Manual

Conversation Café Wallet Card in Color



Choosing to host a conversation provides a powerful way to make a difference in our world, to build community, and to enhance collective intelligence.  Plus it offers you a stimulating opportunity for learning and growth.



Did You Know?

The Process & Agreements are available in a variety of ready-to-print free formats. Click here to see them.

This document is also available in various formats in other languages. Click here to see them.