We were looking to use a colloquial term an “empathy gateway drug.” Because there are a lot of people who talk about the idea of empathy, but don’t know where to start. So we wanted to find a way to make an experience for people that lets them “try on” empathy in a safe-ish context. So we developed these cards to ask provocative questions that aren’t designed for short answers. Because what happens with most people is you get asked a question, and even if it’s a non-binary question, something that requires a 1-2 sentence answer, often we have that as a canned answer. If I asked you “tell me about a time you’ve failed,” you’ve probably been in enough bad interviews to have a stock answer! But what this deck encourages is that each answer should be no less than four minutes long. So you might have that quick 2-3 sentence answer, and then the conversation goes quiet, so it’s incumbent on the question-answer to go deeper, learn WHY. And all of a sudden the conversation isn’t about the question anymore, it’s about the two people. The question is the threshold you walk through to get to a deeper conversation. If I walked up to you at a coffee shop and asked “When have you made a brave choice in your career,” you’re going to close your laptop and walk away from me! But if the CARD asks that question, it’s a permission granting tool. The question isn’t coming from me, and you know you can ask an equally-provocative question to me too, so the cards become a facilitation tool for deeper, more meaningful conversations.