What is required to conduct A listening session? 

The project has an Interviewers Guide that project participants will use to navigate their 1-on-1 listening session. The guide also includes a data collection instrument that will make sure the data collected will go into the project database in an organized way 



What will I be expected to submit to the project?

The Interviewer's Guide includes an extensive instrument that records data both about the Trump supporter's views and about listener's reactions to hearing perspectives they may disagree with. In addition, the guide includes a survey allowing the Trump supporter to assess their experience of the interview process.



Can I/we get a group of Trump supporters together?

In the testing phase of the project, it was very difficult for progressive interviewers to create 1-on-1 interviews. We would expect that gathering a group of people might even be more difficult. However, if some participants want to use a focus group process to gather a small group of supporters, Americans Listen will provide materials to support this approach.  



What is going to happen with all of the information collected?

The information from the interviews will be gathered in two databases that will be publicly available. One database will focus on the various pillars of support from Candidate Trump. The second will focus on the challenges that the listeners had as they tried to remain in a stance of empathetic listening while hearing perspectives they disagree with.  



What are the listeners expected to do before and during the listening session(s)?

Before the session

·      Participate in a short orientation meeting with other listeners to review project materials

·      Print out data collection instrument

During the session

·      Approach Trump supporters (strangers or social contacts) to solicit participation

·      Deliver talking points explaining project

·      Administer survey and interview instruments (15 – 25 minutes)



What will the listeners be expected to do after the listening session?

·      Immediately fill out post-interview reflection sheet (20 – 30 minutes)

·      Create and post short reflection on social media

·      Turn in data instruments to Americans Listen contact

·      Participate in 30- 60 minute debrief with other listeners (in person or electronically)



Why would someone want to participate as a listener?













Some possible reasons include:

Serving as an empathetic listener to people whose views you disagree is good way to strengthen listening skills.

In addition, participating with others in distilling lessons about listening may be valuable to those who teach listening/dialogue skills to others.

Given the large portion of Americans who support Trump, some may participate to learn more about why so many Americans support Donald Trump.

Immersing oneself in points of view very different than one’s own forces attention to the part of us that generates empathy, which some would argue is a useful spiritual exercise.

Some people will enjoy contributing to a large-scale project designed to promote listen as a way to actively promote a culture of more dialogue and listening. 


Yes the interviews can happen electronically, as long as there is a "face to face" interaction. Interviews cannot just be over the telephone, be they CAN be over Skype, Zoom, Google, or some other means for people being able to see facial expressions and read body language. 

Can the interviews happen after the election?

This initial project of Americans Listen is conceptualized as a effort for the election season, which can be thought of as from Labor day until the Inauguration in January. It is important that a significant portion of the listening sessions happen before the election, because the election results will undoubtedly affect how people frame their support from Trump and role of race and demographic change within that support. But yes, we expect some sessions to happen after the election.