dialogue

We argue in our meetings, homes, in cafes', on the streets and most of all when we meet people who disagree with us. Everybody seems to love a good argument. Sometimes we even dignify them by calling them dialogues.

dialogue

Sadly, most conversations are not Dialogue. They are two or more simultaneous monologues, with neither party willing to listen or understand the other. The intent is to convince, persuade, and prove the other party wrong.

The significant issues that we face today, be it acquisition of land for business or government projects; protection of minority rights; issues of cultural and ethnic identity, the preferred model of economic development or women's right to their own bodies, are complex. These do not benefit from emotionally charged, adversarial language or posturing. Yet the public discourse around these and many other equally important and urgent matters is almost always aggressive, where mutual recriminations guarantee that we are closed off to each other and to deeper understanding.

When polarized groups come together, whether by accident or by design, with no common agenda, a poor process, and no one to facilitate when things get rough, difficult conversations quickly stall or deteriorate.

Good facilitators help people have good conversations.

Dialogue Facilitation is a Meta-Culture core competency. We use the term Dialogue in a very deliberate and specific way. Through Dialogue, we help people who don't see eye-to-eye to engage in focused and respectful conversations.

Our professional Facilitators know how to move the conversation forward, laying down clear guidelines for discussion, cutting through unproductive diversionary tactics, and helping groups reach a greater understanding of the problem and themselves. We help groups generate fresh ideas and find creative possibilities to drive breakthrough outcomes.

Dialogue is not just any conversation. It is truly an uncommon conversation. It is structured, strategically-designed, sustained over time, and facilitated by a skilled third party who is impartial and has no stake in the issues or outcomes. These elements must be present for a dialogue to be a Dialogue. Without it the conversation is likely to break down without the parties having achieved anything meaningful or constructive.

 
 
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  • FAQs
    What precisely will the Dialogue process address?
    Dialogue encourages individuals in a group to get real - to talk about key differences at the level of personal experience, and about how these differences contribute to misunderstanding, lack of cooperation, tension, and anger. While individuals may still disagree on certain issues, they'll come out of the Dialogue with a greater appreciation of each other. This understanding is the foundation for exploring common interests, finding ways to collaborate, and coming up with solutions that work for everyone.
    Dialogue can and often does lead to concrete action. Action that comes out of Dialogue is collective, and thereby tends to be more effective than that initiated by any single group. It is creative and involves multiple stakeholders who would never have thought it possible to work together.
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META SPEAK

Few things are as satisfying as getting things off our chest. Or indeed ranting about our pet peeves. Few things are more frustrating than listening to others do the same. It takes courage to sit across the table to talk to someone we disagree with or, indeed, loathe. It takes wisdom to appreciate that their vision, limited as it may be, can complement ours. Any anarchist or hooligan can riot or burn buses. It is Dialogue that is the really subversive act.