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Tim and Rick resume the discussion with Simon Greer, social entrepreneur and founder of Bridging the Gap, on his more recent project with students at Oberlin College and Spring Arbor University. Simon unpacks the skills and practices he has found beneficial in helping students find common ground. They also discuss the relationship between technique and skill and matters of the heart and motivation when seeking to find common ground, and they discuss the power of an immersive experience to foster respect with “the other” while retaining differences. 

This is part 2 of a 2-part discussion with Simon Greer.


Simon Greer: Am I interacting with you to show my team how righteous we are? Because then let's not call it listening. Let's not even call it debating. It's just grandstanding. And that's okay, if that's what you want to do. If you think that's how change happens. You can do that, but we shouldn't confuse it because that's what a lot of people are doing right there. The canceling or calling people out is just to virtue signal to my own team.

Rick Langer: Welcome to the Winsome Conviction Podcast. My name is Rick Langer and I am one of your hosts. I'm the co-director of the Winston Conviction Project, and I'm also the director of the office of faith and learning here at Biola University.

Tim Muehlhoff: My name is Tim Muehlhoff. I'm the other co-director of the Winston Conviction Project, as well as being a communication professor here at Biola University. And we are continuing a segment that we'd like to call "Report from the frontlines". We certainly understand that the Winsome Conviction Project is not the only group that's interested in cultivating connection and communication. And whenever we find people that we just admire, we just think are doing a phenomenal job. We'd love to just get a chance to glean wisdom from them. And so we're going to continue a conversation. Rick, why don't you set us up just very quickly about who we're speaking to?

Rick Langer: Yeah, we'll be continuing our conversation with Simon Greer and Simon has been working in the social sector for decades, in dealing with some of the most contentious social change issues that we have. But in the past few years, he's gotten really intrigued by engaging people in a little bit more personal level, a little bit more of that than the policy part. And also shared last time, I would highly encourage you to listen to our previous podcast, a little bit about even the personal side of it for him at a very personal level of just thinking, "oh wow, I was wanting to have everyone else change, but not me." And the whole idea of saying, man, we need to help people, ourselves included, think a little bit more deeply about our own stuff.

So we had a fascinating conversation, but one of the things he's been working on is a project called Bridging the Gap, that has involved bringing together people from different communities of discourse. Students from a very progressive school and students from a very conservative evangelical school, bring them together to have a project of engaging and learning from one another.

And we've just been fascinated by it. So we wanted to dive back in to that. And Simon, you were just giving us a quick account of the overall structure of the program. So let's just pick up with that. And have you unpack each of the three different elements of this that you were talking about before, and tell us a little bit about how that worked.

Simon Greer: Sure, sure. I'm happy to, good to be back. So in the first week of Bridging the Gap, the first section, if you will, we work on skills building. And we primarily focus on three things: listening, feedback, and storytelling. And I don't know how nuts and bolts you guys want to get, but in short, I think listening is a superpower. I think it's underestimated. When we think about great leaders, we tend to think about the speakers, right? That's leadership is like being charismatic and well-spoken and articulate and inspiring. And I think that's all fine. I would challenge it though that even, I don't think I've told you guys this story before, I always think about when Martin Luther king gave the, "I have a dream" speech, so obviously a great leadership moment.

There's two great behind the scenes stories. So one, like a good preacher, he had come that day with a number of themes. And when he hit the, "I have a dream" theme, people in the crowd were very responsive, and so he went with it. Because he was listening. It was a great speech, but it was a great speech because he was listening. The other story is that he started his speech and Ella Baker who was up on stage, said, Martin, tell them about the dream. And so again, he was listening. And so whichever view you believe, one of the most famous speeches in American history is born in some way out of how well he was listening. So I think the truth is listening is the prerequisite for everything, but separate from how it informed Martin Luther King's leadership, I think if we're going to bridge these divides that we're facing... And I don't just mean the political divides, as I've said before, I think it is a spiritual crisis that we face, but this is also about bridging divides in the workplace.

It's not just about the Thanksgiving table with uncle Joe who voted for someone different than you did, and you don't know how to spend Thanksgiving together. It's in the workplace where there's someone from a different background than you, and now you have to do a project together and you're having a hard time communicating. So I think this listening stuff is a super power, it's a big deal. I think the statistics say that less than 2% of us are actually trained in listening, though the science shows us again and again and again, that in any profession, if you're a real estate broker or you're a dental hygienist or your mentor, or you're a wife, or you're a husband, it doesn't matter.

You do better at that job if you listen. So I'm very committed to this listening thing. We teach it in a very building blocks way. So I think there are five building blocks to good listening. I'll run them through real quick if you're interested.

Rick Langer: Sure.

Tim Muehlhoff: Yeah.

Simon Greer: Okay. The first one, maybe strangely is silence. So what I teach people first is that if we were practicing, I would say to one of you, tell us a story about your favorite meal. And as the listener, for two minutes, you're going to tell me about your favorite meal. I am not going to respond. I'm not going to check out, I'm not going to check my phone. And hopefully I'm not going to sit here in judgment of why that's a stupid meal and why I would never eat that, and you have bad taste in food.

Because none of that would be listening. What I would be doing is I call it full body listening. So I'd be a hundred percent focused on your story. On the words, but also on the tone. Maybe there's a moment in telling that story that there's something emotional about it too. Who used to cook that meal for you comes up, and I hear the crack in your voice. So I am in my silence. I'm fully attentive to every detail in this story. Physical expressions, the words, the tone, all of it. That's that silence. And it's not easy, but what we tend to do is we tend to only be silent long enough to reload. That's kind of how we conduct our conversations.

So I talk, I make my argument, and now I've run out of breath. So I catch my breath. I prepare to defeat your counter-argument, and now I talk again. And I just think it doesn't get us very far. So building block number one is listening.

Building block number two, we call the footprint. So the footprint means in responding to you. So my first practice round, I was totally silent. A hundred percent present. I listened to you as if you are my wisest teacher speaking your most cherished, last words. That's the kind of attention I'm talking about bringing, that's a [inaudible 00:07:23], but I'm talking about bringing that to every interaction. That's what good listeners do. That's number one. I listen in silence a hundred percent attentive, nonjudgmental, curious, then level two is staying inside the footprint. That means that I only feed back to you exactly what you've said to me.

So if you say, oh, I've had an exciting day. I don't say, oh, it sounds like you're really happy. That's not what you said. You said, you had an exciting day. So I say, oh, it sounds like you had an exciting day. And so we would practice. I would ask you, tell me for two minutes about your favorite vacation spot. And all I can say back is... You say, I love going to see the giant redwoods. And I don't say, oh, I've seen the giant redwoods. I just say, oh, you've seen the giant redwoods? So I stay exactly within the words, the footprint of the words that you've given me. And the reason I emphasize this one and why we use it as the second building block is that often we're quite self-referential. So you tell me something, and that's really my opportunity to talk about me or to tell you why you're thinking incorrectly about whatever you're saying.

And it's not always malicious. Sometimes we're actually trying to bond, but there is a version of manipulation that happens. If I start responding with more than silence or the words you've given, I start steering the conversation towards maybe where I'm more comfortable or where I'm more interested. And then that's not necessarily bad, but it's not pure listening. And so we go from silence to footprint and then we build on footprint and we'd go to what we call encouragers. And so this is where you, and this people will be more familiar with this, where you can say, aha, oh, yeah, hm. And you're nodding and you're leaning in. So the reason we don't do that first as I was just mentioning is that if you were to say, oh, I had such a great... So if I was doing this... I had such a great time with my son today, and I really had this struggle with my daughter.

Well, maybe you're very uncomfortable with conflict. And you're like, oh, tell us about your son, because you don't want to hear about the hard time with my daughter. But now you've taken the conversation over, it's no longer about what was on my mind. So the encouragers could just be like, I say my son Owen. And you're like, mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah. And then I say, and my daughter Sasha, and you'd just sit there, arms crossed. So you've sent me a pretty strong message and you may not even know you've done it. You've sent me a strong message, you want to hear about the good times with Owen and not the hard times with Sasha. And if my kids were listening, I would say I had a great time with both of them today. They shouldn't worry about that.

But the point is that once you start to do encouragers, you actually run the risk of taking over the conversation and in this approach to listening, that's the last thing we want to do is we do not want to take over. We're building trust here. We're building learning, understanding, and hopefully finding common ground, but above all else, we're building trust. So if I come back to you later and I say, I want to raise something you said earlier that I really see it kind of differently, but we just had 45 minutes where you feel like no one has listened to you with as much love and care and concern and openheartedness as I just did, you're going to be open to where I think we may see things differently. And so the encouragers need to be truly in service of encouraging you where you want to go.

That's building block three. Building block four we call open-ended questions. And so this also will be familiar to people, but I love to go to the question, what was that like for you? It's like one of my go-tos. Whatever someone says to me, if I'm not sure where the conversation is going, I'll just jump in with, well, what was that like for you? The other one that isn't really an open ended question, but it serves a similar purpose, it's my other go-to, is tell me more about that. So it doesn't matter, especially on the most contentious topics. Instead of my counter-argument or here's why I see it the way I see it. No, I just, well, tell me more about that or what was that like for you? And it just lets the person both feel respected and honored and lets them sink a little bit deeper.

That's the fourth building block. And the fifth one we call sorting, grouping, and synthesizing. So this would be, if you said to me, "I'm tired, I'm hungry and I'm worn out." I might sort those out. Wait, wait, I think I heard three things, tired, hungry, worn out. Is there one of those that feels more important to talk about first? Or in another context, maybe you've given me 17 examples of all the things going wrong and I might group them. Oh, it sounds like three or four of those have to do with having too much on your plate. And these other six actually sound like you don't really know how to do them. I would make it the fifth and final building block because it's the place where we can get it wrong most easily.

What I sort, or I synthesize, or I group may not be how you see it. And so it runs the risk of in a subtle way, having you shutdown, because you're like, wait, wait, wait, no, no, no, I wouldn't put that over there. But built on the other four building blocks, now we've dedicated the time to these first four steps. When I try to sort for you, even if you see it differently, you might be like, no, no, no, no, no, actually those don't go in that bucket. They go in this other one. But even that exchange, I've helped you maybe unpack or reorganize, reframe how you're thinking about those things. That was like two days of training.

Tim Muehlhoff: The check is in the mail.

Simon Greer: Those are the five building blocks of listening.

Tim Muehlhoff: Simon, let me make one quick observation. I love this. This is just awesome. Here's what we're finding a little bit with the Winsome Conviction Project. Let's go back to the very first building block, sitting in silence. We are finding students and people that we work with, this is becoming increasingly difficult because they've been primed to already look at your perspective with an incredibly negative lens.

So I was working on a chapter. I forget what I was working on and I was listening to a YouTube clip as part of my illustration. And so I got lost in my writing. And so it bled into the next YouTube clip. And it was a gentleman, I won't mention his name, very well-known, talking about black lives matter, but doing it in such a negative way. Like every possible negative interpretation and doing it with such passion. And I thought to myself, boy, if I listened to that regularly, and then I try to sit in silence, as you talk about your positive experience with black lives matter, I would be fuming on the inside. Like that's ridiculous, how can you believe that, right? So how we prime ourselves, I wonder, makes sitting in silence very difficult to do.

Simon Greer: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean there's lots to say about that. On one level, I think Jonathan Haidt writes about this, are we trying to listen and converse, or we doing moral grand standard? So, am I interacting with you to show my team how righteous we are, because then let's not call it listening. Let's not even call it debating. It's just grandstanding. And that's okay, if that's what you want to do if you think that's how change happens. You can do that. But we shouldn't confuse it, because that's what a lot of people are doing. The canceling or calling people out is to virtue signal to my own team.

So I always ask people, what are the results you're seeking? If your goal is to fortify your own base, then maybe that's what you do should do. If your goal is to break through to some new solutions, then I don't recommend it. That's one part of it. So we have to be clear what we're doing and what is our goal in engaging with this person? I think what you said is really right. We have come to believe that we're diminished and even threatened by being proximate with views we disagree with.

And you know, I just think that's fatal to the democracy and it's fatal to each of us. When I think I already know you and that your opinion isn't quite as valid as mine, and so you aren't quite as worthy, haven't we violated the most basic premises of our shared religious traditions and our democratic tradition? Isn't the made in the image of God and one person, one vote, aren't they all based on the fact that I'm no better than you? I'm not more right than you. I'm not more perfect than you. I'm not more holy than you. You're entitled to exactly as much as I am. I think when we lose that, we lose a lot and we lose a lot about ourselves.

I guess you said the other thing that they would be sitting there fuming. And I think this is really important. I guess all the stuff I teach, it can be on the level of technique and the technique is good. It'll work, it'll create better results. Guaranteed. If you follow the five building blocks, you'll have better results in whatever you're doing, but I don't think that's enough. I'm more on the level of transformation. And I guess I should say as a caveat, those skills can be used for good or evil. When I pay really close attention to you and I looked deep into your eyes and I maybe even reach out a hand to make contact. And I reflect back to you what I've heard you say. And I try to sort where I hear pain in your voice.

That can be super manipulative. So, for that reason, because I want it to be more than technique and because I don't want the nastiest side of it to manifest, I always ask what is people's own inner work so that when someone says something that offends me and I feel fuming, I always say, can you refrain from unskillful action when in a triggered state? So you say something, I'm fuming. And I think the work is to then... This is the Buddhist in me... Is to then turn to the physical feeling, like fuming. I feel it like a ball of kryptonite in my stomach. And I put all my attention there. I'm not blaming it on you. I'm not attacking you. I'm not trying to eliminate you or the feeling, I'm just trying to settle into it.

Gosh, that is like hot and fiery and burning, that is a lot going on right there. That I can't impose on anyone in our classes, I can't make them go on a spiritual journey. I can't make them look at their own demons. It's sort of above my pay grade. But I do think that I've come to see the balance shift. And if you want to have an impact in the world, how much do you have to work on yourself? And I think I used to think despite myself, I could just crank it out. I could work harder, work faster, be smarter, get more done. And I've come to think, I got to be so deeply on this inner journey. So when I show up, there aren't a lot of sharp edges to get caught up on and there's a capacity to hold the rage and the upset and the fear and the anger. We're spiritual warriors, right? That's what we're doing.

Tim Muehlhoff: Boy, you've been listening to our private conversations, Simon, which is really scary. How do you have access to these conversations?

Rick Langer: The NSA.

Tim Muehlhoff: So you probably can tell by the sound of my voice, Simon, that I have a black belt. You probably have already ascertained that. No, I just, after seven years...

Simon Greer: Is that true?

Tim Muehlhoff: Yes. After seven years, I finally got my black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu just in case Winsomeness doesn't work.

Rick Langer: Tim has a backup plan, just so you know.

Tim Muehlhoff: I'm kidding. But there's a very famous saying that I was thinking of, as you were speaking, from the founder of modern karate, that spirit precedes technique. That he could teach people to punch, kick, all that kind of stuff. But if they didn't have the right spirit, they would misuse the technique or just never use it. So we've kind of adopted that here at the Winsome Conviction Project that if we just teach technique, but don't address the spirit, then the technique will be abandoned as soon as your hot button gets pushed.

Simon Greer: But let me ask you this. And I would not want to get on the wrong side of a black belt nor the founder of the tradition. That's not what I'm looking to find myself, but I hear the wisdom in that. What I've observed and maybe what I've put some faith in is that some people come to this work, they just want to learn to beat the other side. That's all, they just want to learn to know the enemy so they can defeat them. And they want to learn the technique because then they can really find out what makes the enemy tick and now they can beat them.

And my approach has been okay, because I think there is something sacred that happens when you listen, and when you're listened to. And so you may not be down for the spiritual growth yet, but you get listened to in a way you never have, and you listen, and you actually think you see something holy in this person and you feel something come to life in yourself. And then you're curious. You're like, huh, maybe there is more to this than just vanquishing the other guy. Wow. I've got to think about that. And so maybe the technique you need, the spirit shall work to make the technique everything it can be, but a step with the technique can crack you open a little bit to the spiritual possibilities. I don't know. That's been my theory.

Tim Muehlhoff: That's great. I really like that.

Rick Langer: Well, thanks Simon. That is an incredible look at the issue of listening and a great kind of a for taste or a sample of the idea of what you're talking about when you're talking about acquiring skills. And I think at least for me, as I'm sitting there listening to them, I'm like, oh yeah, there's a lot of skills that we need to acquire here. That's great. But you also talked about this immersion component here. Tell us a little bit more about that part of the experience.

Simon Greer: Sure. Yeah. So the skills building is part one and then the encounter is the next portion. And we do that when we can, we do it as an immersive experience. So in this case, we all lived in a dorm at Spring Arbor, me too. It's maybe like a cross-cultural experience when you travel abroad, or something that it gets you out of your own community where you're known as you, and now you're immersed in another place where they don't know you as anybody. And you can be a different part of yourself. What I also saw there was that we taught these skills and the skills are great, but something happens when someone says like, hey, I've got a car, can we drive to whatever that store and pick up some snacks?

And then two or three students, they go together, they pick up snacks. And in our first conversation together, we were talking about the neighborhood and the different experiences that people from different racial or economic groups might've had with that neighborhood. And what strikes me that happens in the immersive experience is that we've stopped being groups. So we're not the Oberlin students and the Spring Arbor students, we're just students. And it turns out many people, if they're more liberal, have some more conservative folks in their family. And some folks who are more conservative, have more liberal folks in their family. And so the idea that our groups are monoliths disappears and that's maybe one of the biggest contributions the program makes and the immersive part. Because if I'm rooming with you and now I'm talking to you and we're walking to meals together, and you're showing me around your campus, or it's Sunday morning and that's when you would go to church, so I go with you.

So I'm literally walking in your footsteps. And I think there's no replacement for it. I can tell you about the other, but they're still the other. And then I get to like them, and now they're not the other, they're Joe, they're Bob. And I'm like, oh, he seems nice. And that doesn't mean that in the immersive experience, we watered down the disagreements. So in our immersive experience, you can imagine the rules of student behavior at Spring Arbor and the rules at Oberlin are different. Gender expectations are different. Who can be in whose room when, who can use which bathroom. So we didn't immerse ourselves in watered down kumbaya experience. It revealed the cultural differences. And these are not like little differences. These feel existential to the two groups, to the two camps at the level of group and camp, but at the level of individual, it's like, oh, huh, that's a challenge for you being here in this dorm hall.

Well, I didn't want that. That wasn't the purpose of that rule. I wonder if we should do something there. Or whoa, I've never met anyone who sees things that way, and that's not that comfortable for me, but I don't hate you for it. And you don't hate me for being uncomfortable. Cause actually I know a bit about your story and we went to get snacks together. And so I don't build this as like, well, if we all just lived together, we would solve all our problems and everything would be fine. I do not think that's true. And actually one of the things I grapple with, with all the talk about civility, is that sometimes we shouldn't be that civil. Sometimes people cross the line. I mean, you're a black belt, you appreciate this. I box, I used to do martial arts, but I got kicked in the eye.

It's a long story, but I box and I always think about how we learn to fight so we don't have to fight. And so I'm not mushy about these things. I do think if you're living in close proximity with other people and they have different values and worldview than you, that a line may get crossed where you're like, whoa, no, I'm not doing that. And I want people to do that. I've actually seen through our work that in some areas, people get stronger in their convictions because of being so proximate with other people, but they get softer in their view of the other. So I teached it as we call it strong back, soft front. And so I want a super strong values core. This is what I stand for and it's not actually terribly negotiable, but I'm so confident in it, I don't have to punch you in the nose at first sight.

I can just receive you as you are. And it's different than me. And I can share a room with you and I can go get snacks with you and I can stay up late talking to you about whether you believe in God and I don't, and why is that? But I don't in the end doubt what I believe. I'm more clear about what I believe, but on the front side, I don't need to be quite so aggressive with it, cause I think the aggression often comes from fear. It comes from an anxiety like I'm going to be diminished. I'm going to be viewed badly by my peers if I tolerate this. Instead of, I'm so sure that this is me at my core, this is my worldview and my belief system that I can be really welcoming of the others because of my humility that I don't know the whole story, but also because I'm pretty confident in the things that matter most to me.

So the immersive experience creates the laboratory where a lot of that can happen, that if you're just in a classroom and you're just together sort of here and there, I think you can learn skills, you can make progress, you can get better at telling stories. You can do all of that, but there's something that happens in the intimacy and the intensity of the shared space that helps to break down the view of the other and it's almost like a spiritual development and character formation and I'm getting more crisp and more clear and more sharp about who I am.

Tim Muehlhoff: We're back to the front porch, to me. That going for snacks, we call that phatic communication. That's the routine, mundane every day communication that we're kind of losing because to be honest, Spring Arbor students aren't going to get snacks with Oberlin students unless they're part of this program. And so that separation from each other, different campuses, different ideologies, beliefs, you don't ever get to go have snacks with people. They become so other that you just don't hang out with them. And we're missing that.

Simon Greer: Yeah. We're missing it and in a way we've divided in new ways. The political polarization is now so intense that in many settings you're more likely to find a multi-racial family than you are a multi-party family.

Rick Langer: Yeah, I saw a study talking about that. Very striking.

Simon Greer: And it's super intense. I hear about it a lot in Thanksgiving season is where this is most intense. We have an election, people are super divided, and now they don't want to go to Thanksgiving dinner. And I just wonder how it's like, we know that a lot of these identities are social constructs. We know that, but recently we've constructed this party thing to be so defining of who we are that we would really think I'm going to skip family dinner because Joe is from a different party. We just made all that up. Like we made up that this is our Thanksgiving tradition. We made up the party, we made up the whole thing. We come to believe that it's worth not talking to your uncle. I don't know.

Rick Langer: Now the third part of this project overall is, I can't remember what you call it, as the policy part, but engaging a particular issue together. Is that in some sense, almost a continuation of the immersion process, because you're suddenly jointly immersed in this further project, or is it kind of a standalone fundamentally separate thing?

Simon Greer: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you asking. They all tie together. So the skills you learn in the first part you apply in the encounter, and then the ability to encounter what people you would have called the other, using these skills you apply in the policy part. I think what maybe makes the third part so important is that we're not just crossing lines of difference because it feels nice. We're doing it because we have real problems to solve. Just like the immersion is vital, there's couple of other observations I've made in this work. So one is we rarely would line people up and say, okay, you're pro-life, you're pro-choice, you go to that side of the room and go to that side. Now, argue it out. We'd be more likely to do something like show a film with very interesting characters talking about their beliefs. What do I believe, am I a believer?

And then in small groups, ask people to talk about where do your beliefs influence the personal private decisions you make? And then a second go round, where do your beliefs shape your views on public issues? You could get into the same subject matter, but you're going to get it into a much deeper way. We also might, if we're on a contentious topic, law and order and racial justice, we might put people into pairs and say for the next 45 minutes, everyone just go for a walk in pairs and chat about this while you're in motion. Because what we know about human is if you put me on one side of the room in my chair and you on the other in your chair and say have at it, now we're like gladiators. But if you have us walking in motion together, or this is how it relates to the, the policy project.

Now we have a common project. So our job is to develop a policy blueprint, and the other isn't the Oberlin student or the Spring Arbor student, it's the corrections officer I've never heard from before or the legislator I've never heard from before or the incarcerated person. Now we're us, and we're encountering them. And we have a product we have to produce. And so the joint mission of having to solve a problem and doing it together and trying to make sense of all these others, that also brings people together. And it's sort of like the icing on the cake of the immersive experience. I guess I would say the other, maybe it's the icing on the icing? [crosstalk 00:33:12]

The candle on the whipped cream on the icing is, and this is the thing that actually landed me in continuing to do this. I was just going to do the campus pilot to schools, prove it could be done and move on to some other sector. Let's do it with congregations or let's do it with neighborhoods. I wanted to see, but what I saw happen was that at the end of our pilot, most of the students went from being a program participant to being owners. They owned it. The second to last day, they do these presentations where they present their blueprints and they don't just need to present a blueprint. They run the whole show. So there's a distinguished panel that hears their presentations.

They organize the whole flow of the conversation and the entire exchange. And then on the last day of the program, we request that the president of each school attends conversation with the students and hears from them about their experience. And I don't run that. We get the president to...or very senior people, but ideally in most cases, it has been the president... To agree to come for an hour. The students design the agenda for that hour. The roles, the stories they're going to tell. How they want to give feedback, how they're going to listen, all of that. So they apply all their skills and they set goals for the impact they want to have on the president of their college or university. And I walked at the end, after the students had done it, they didn't think they had just participated in some cool program.

They thought, we're like the Gap Bridgers. This is what we do. This is who we are and we want to be ambassadors for it. So I think half of the students from the first year became fellows in Virginia Gap. And this year they were TAs, they help teach it as we expand it to new campuses. And I think the flow from skills to encounter to the policy piece, all sitting in that immersive container, somewhere in that is the recipe that doesn't just have us with students who took a class and learned some skills, but students who went from participants to owners of a new way of leading and a new way of making change. And I think that's what got me hooked and wanting to keep doing it.

Tim Muehlhoff: Well, Simon, thank you for the example that you are to what we're trying to do. And before I turn it over to Rick, let me just assure you the only way I'd be able to kick you in the eye is if you were sitting in front of me cross legged. And then maybe, only if I had warmed up before. But Simon, thank you so much. We just love what you're doing. And thank you for setting the groundwork for what we're trying to do in a small way.

Rick Langer: And we want to thank all of our listeners for joining us here at the Winsome Conviction Podcast. It's just a delight to talk to people like Simon, who are just out there doing it, helping people be able to talk about our differences and build bridges, occupy some common ground, and just hopefully make the world a bit more of a place where we all feel like we might belong. So I'm grateful for that. Thanks again for joining us Simon, it's been wonderful to have you.

Simon Greer: It was a pleasure to be with you both.

Rick Langer: And if you would like to continue listening to Winsome Conviction Podcast, please just check us out on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you get them, be a subscriber and you can also check out resources we have available on the website. Thanks again for joining us.