We know. It can be weird to talk on the phone, especially with a stranger. Many of you have asked us, What happens on these calls? I don’t think I’d know what to say. It’s a great idea…but I could never do it.
The truth is that everyone is nervous when interacting with new people, and no one knows precisely what to say at first. If we all knew how to talk to people different from us with ease, well, ADP wouldn’t exist!
ADP Calls are designed to minimize stress and maximize connection for all. Each call is convened by an experienced facilitator, who smoothly guides participants through five sections of a 40-minute conversation. Listen below to clips from each section of actual ADP Calls to get a sense of what yours might be like.
Facilitator Welcome (5 mins)
ADP Facilitators open each call by welcoming participants, setting the tone, explaining the norms, and making sure both participants feel safe and secure. This usually takes about five minutes, so participants get to just listen and relax a bit before being asked to speak. Listen here to how facilitator Mason opens an ADP Call:
Mason’s ADP Intro
Brief Introductions (1 min each)
After the facilitator finishes their welcome, each participant is invited to give a one-minute introduction, just to get oriented. Listen to a few participants briefly introduce themselves:
Dave in Oregon
Amanda in DC
Ana in Maine
Uninterrupted Talk/Listen Time (7 mins each)
After brief intros, each participant gets an opportunity to speak uninterrupted for seven minutes in response to the prompt, Tell us about something that defines you or significantly shapes your experience. Seven minutes is an intentionally long time, leaving space for speakers go where their stories take them and for listeners to relax and really listen instead of preparing a response. Here are examples of participants responding to the prompt:
Alyssa on her Interests, Life, and Questions
Paul on his Career Path
The Exchange (7 mins each)
Next, participants are invited to take another seven minutes each to further their exchange. They can ask questions, add more to their story, remark on a current issue, follow up on something their dialogue partner said, etc. Here are a few examples:
An Exchange on Hunting
An Exchange on National Intelligence
Sometimes there are technical difficulties, but that’s okay–they usually illustrate a story more so than interrupt it. Listen to a perfect example when Lizzie tries to respond to a question about her day-to-day life:
Can You Hear Me Now?
Regardless of what difficulties may arise, rest assured that the facilitator is on the line to help, as is another participant who is equally nervous but eager to be there.
Closing the Call (3 mins)
When the call’s time limit is reached, the facilitator will gently close the call and give everyone a chance to say goodbye. We find that more often than not, participants want to keep talking well past the 40-minute structure, but the facilitator strives to keep the call length as advertised. And just like that, the call is complete.
Closing a Call
“We just have to figure out how to make it viral…”
A day or two after an ADP Call, each participant receives a link to provide anonymous feedback about the call experience. Everyone who has participated in an ADP Call is also welcome to join ADP’s private Facebook group, where they can continue conversations, make new connections, and remain in dialogue with people they might not otherwise encounter in their daily life.
And of course, there’s no limit to the number of ADP Calls you can do. Everyone is encouraged to sign up again, and keep practicing the art of dialogue across difference.