The 3Practices . Our Story
Jim Henderson and Jim Hancock create spaces — and train others to create spaces — where people come to understand each other without being obliged to agree. They’re convinced that anyone with a hunger for rescuing and strengthening human connections can set the table for others who want that too.
Long before they knew each other, Jim Henderson + Jim Hancock were learning and helping others learn to cross the difference divide — on purpose and repeatedly — in real life.
Count these two among those who refuse to accept our pandemic levels of polarization as the new norm. And count them among the mapmakers showing us how to find our way back to each other — however much we disagree — to find a way forward together.
We can make this crossing, they say, because agreement is overrated, and because, when people like each other, the rules change. A little good will, supported by a few key skills and practices, goes a long way.
Henderson + Hancock distilled all this into norm-breaking habits called 3Practices for Crossing the Difference Divide.
The spaces where people learn and practice these Practices together are called 3Practice Circles.
The book that describes the underlying design is called 3Practices for Crossing the Difference Divide.Check out the book at Amazon.com
3Practice Circles aren't inspirational or aspirational, they're operational.
What the world needs now is not inspirational ... Look what those lovely people are doing ...
… or aspirational ... I wish everyone would love their neighbors…
What the world needs now is operational. Here is a way to stop fighting like cats and dogs!
We’ll still be cats and dogs … but we’ll learn to understand each other well enough to see that being good neighbors doesn’t mean we have to agree with each other — and it certainly doesn't mean surrendering core principles … unless your core principles include silencing people whose crime is disagreeing with you.
Henderson + Hancock's book, 3 Practices For Crossing the Difference Divide, is available at Amazon.com.
3Practices for Crossing the Difference Divide is for people who are sad, angry, and apprehensive about important relationships being sucked into the vortex of the difference divide. It’s a book for people who aren’t ready to accept this as our new normal — where we have no choice but to write off relationships that mean a great deal to us.
The 3Practices are a map across the difference divide.
Practice One: I’ll be Unusually Interested in others
Practice Two: I’ll stay in the room with difference
Practice Three: I’ll stop comparing my best with your worst.
The book — and 3Practice Circle Leader Training — teaches people how to:
- Create safe spaces for practicing the 3Practices
- Begin learning a skillset they can practice from Day One
3Practice Circle Leader Training is an experience-based course of instruction with a guided practicum leading to certification as a 3Practice Circle Leader.
The Training embodies two years of design, development and field testing on how 3Practice Circles can help people cross the difference divide with prickly co-workers, aggressive family members, and entrenched ideological opponents.Check out 3Practice Circle Leader Training
In some ways, Jim Henderson + Jim Hancock lived parallel lives decades before they met...
- both were uncommonly interested in the Other — meaning, people who view and understand and move about the world in profoundly different ways than they do
- both worked — publicly and behind the scenes, and with varying degrees of success — to influence leaders toward thinking differently … thinking off the map, as it were, about those they professed to care about ... as customers, constituencies, and communities of practice ... but were often driving away
- both, for whatever reasons, did better connecting with people younger than their generational peers
- both tried more than they succeeded … and learned to keep trying
- both came to respect and be respected by people with whom they had good reasons to disagree
Their first big project together was a feature-length documentary, called No Joke, about a rabbi, and imam, and a preacher in Peoria, Illinois who were shocked to realize they’d become best friends.
Following that, they developed and refined 3Practice Circles
- in community-based Circles where neighbors meet face to face
- in fishbowl Circles at big events where hundreds of people watch and interact with six or eight folks sitting in a fishbowl 3Practice Circle
- in online 3Practice Zoom Circles where people gather from anyplace in the world to pursue clarity and understanding with both allies and ideological opponents.
Off the Map
Off the Map is a business identity Jim Henderson and friends developed in another context some years ago (That's another story, and a good one!). The first iteration of Off the Map ran its course and lay fallow for a bit before Henderson + Hancock decided that OfftheMap.com was far too good an identity (and web address!) to abandon.
The engine that drives 3Practice Circles might be called Off the Map Thinking, or Thinking Off the Map, because so many of our existing relational, social, political, spiritual and cultural maps are wrong or misleading. Some maps have become unreliable because mountains and valleys have undergone tectonic shifts, causing peaks to come crashing down and rivers to change their courses. Other maps were inaccurate or badly-drawn to begin with … and, worse, some maps have been altered to misdirect travelers.
Off the Map Thinking is fast becoming a necessary skill, and Thinking Off the Map may be the only way we're going to get where we mean to go.
Why? Because Thinking Off the Map enables us to:
- travel to new places in our thinking, planning, and practices
- discover new ways of looking at old problems
- meet and perhaps travel with other explorers
3Practice Circles are the first application of Off the Map Thinking — a bit like the Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner was the first release from iRobot — but not the last.
3Practices for Crossing the Difference Divide is the first published work based on Off the Map Thinking. But, we hope, not the last....
Off The Map
Off the Map Pursues Business + Mission Where the Streets Have No Names
With a tip of the hat to the Irish band U2, we two have spent the better part four decades exploring business and mission where the streets have no names
We’ve traveled unfamiliar territories — separately, and now together — exploring uncharted spaces for communication, persuasion, change agency, and leadership. Our journeys have taken us places where street signs were conspicuously absent — which is to acknowledge that we have not always succeeded ... that we’ve been lost now and again ... had to backtrack here and there ... walked around in circles on occasion ... all the while hoping Tolkien was right when he made his hero say:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 2012 Del Rey Mass Market Edition, p.193
Among the upsides in our wandering is that we learned to take good notes.
We’ve both written and made short #lms about what we’ve learned on our journeys, including a recent book together called 3Practices for Crossing the Di!erence Divide. In 2016, we made a feature-length documentary, called No Joke, about a rabbi, an imam, and a white evangelical preacher we met in the American heartland. Working on that movie brought our storylines together, like travelers meeting on a path they’ve walked a thousand times, but never at the same time.
In our 5th year of friendship, we’re ready to share what we’ve learned — on a more personal and interactive level than writing books, or producing events and movies. We want to give a few folks at a time something we didn’t have but sure could have used. We want to give you a map.
To be clear, our map is not a highway — it’s not even a trail, and certainly not a train track with a #xed route from beginning to end. What we o!er is like a topographic map that shows the contours of the land, high and low, wet and dry, settled and wild.
Off the Map
Learning Labs + Problem Solving for Doing Business + Making Meaning Where the Streets Have No Names
Off the Map Co:Conspirators
A 14-Month Cohort Exploration on making meaning and making money — learning how to sell yourself without selling your soul