TGR-S4E5: FishBowl Dialogues


This week on The Great Reset we discuss the proposal for FishBowl Dialogues (FBD), a game for cultivating constructive relational practices.

So, what exactly is “discipleship”?

Question: How can we all get better at loving everyone the way Jesus does?

Perspective: By publicly playing a game where we practice, observe, and learn the relevant skills.

The FBD Format, Draft 2


  • Seeker: Has a Concern. Wants to have that Concern addressed.
  • Helper: Has some connection to the Concern. Wants the Seeker to feel heard and valued.
  • Observers: Have a Rubric of useful practices. Want to recognize which practices the Seeker and Helper are, or should be, using.
  • Coach: Has a deep understanding of constructive relational practices. Wants to help Observers learn which practices are useful in which contexts. Owns the Rubric.
  • Referee: Has a Schedule and list of Roles. Wants everyone to fulfill their desires within those boundaries so that we all learn and have fun together.


Play takes place in a series of Rounds. Each Round has two equal parts:

  • Conversation
    • The Seeker and Helper (together, the “Fish”) discuss the Concern
    • The Seeker goes first, then they take natural conversational turns (with help from the Referee, as needed
    • The Referee keeps time, and can step in if the conversation becomes unbalanced.
    • The Observers do not speak, but should post their notes in the chat for each other to riff on.
  • Reflection
    • The Observers publicly discuss the Scene, attempting to identify the most effective (“I like”) or potentially helpful (“I wonder”) practices, as well insights into the Concern
    • The Coach provides feedback and guidance to the Observers
    • The Fish do not speak, but should reflect on the Observers discussion in the chat

Tuesday’s Schedule

  1. 6m: Introduction
    1. 2m: Referee explains the Schedule and Roles
    2. 4m: Coach explains Rubric to Observers
  2. 25m: Rounds
    1. 5m: Conversation 1 (Fish)
    2. 5m: Reflection 1 (Observers)
    3. 5m: Conversation 2 (Fish)
    4. 5m: Reflection 2 (Observers)
    5. 5m: Conversation 3 (Fish)
  3. 9m: Conclusion
    1. 3m: Summary Reflection (Observers)
    2. 3m: Summarize & Rate Conversation Effectiveness (Coach/Referee)
    3. 3m: Response to Summaries (Fish)
  4. 10m: Retrospective
    1. Everyone reviews their experience with this Format
    2. Use “I like” and “I wonder”


  1. Great Works in Fish Bowls
  2. Fish Bowl (née Truth Bowl)
  3. The Right Holy: Holiness as Loving Relationships

One thought on “TGR-S4E5: FishBowl Dialogues

  1. It is my opinion this Fishbowl Dialogues could be most useful for conflict resolution rather than information dissemination. A problem or conflict resolution protocol could be a very useful tool to use when architects of a project disagree about the building process. More, using the Fishbowl invites others who have a stake in the game to listen to both sides. The result is likely to be greater understanding of the problem dimension for both observers and “fish.”

    Finding resolution through Fishbowl Dialogues or some other conflict resolution practice enables the team to remove obstacles to building the product or idea more productively.

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