Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dialogue Part 2

   * Listen with a "beginner's mind"
      -- open, receptive, eager, curious, teachable.
   * Focus more on learning what you don't know
      than telling what you do know.
          * Try to understand what another is trying to say.
          * See "what's true" in other's comments, not "what's wrong."
                   ... VULNERABLE LISTENING
                   * Listen without resisting.
                   * Listen without defending a position
                      or needing to fix anything.
                   * Be open -- willing to be influenced by what you hear.
  * Listen w/o judging everything as "right or wrong," "good or bad."
  * Stay in the question.  Release the need for closure or agreement.
     Refrain from specific agendas or objectives.
     Defer decisions and action to another time.
  * Hold positions & certainties "lightly."  Open yourself up.
     Let go of the need to "be right" or to be "better than other."
  * Hear everything as "here & now" -- that is, hear other's (& your)
        comments as: "Right now this is what I think / feel / believe...." 
     See everything as temporary, in a process of growth & change.
         INQUIRING & REFLECTING...  Ask yourself questions, like
         * What is the meaning & significance of this?
         * How do things relate, or fit together?
         * What is it I don't know about this?  What are we not seeing?
            What's missing to complete this picture?  How can we look at        this differently?  What questions are we not asking?
         * What are the assumptions?
         * What do I find surprising?
         * What does nature teach us about this?
         * What about other cultures?  .... historical contexts?
         * What am I feeling right now?  Why?
  FINDING YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE...  your unique voice
  * Speak from the heart.
  * Voice questions, uncertainties, & feelings as well as ideas & beliefs.
  * Speak for yourself, as one accountable, without blaming.
  * Speak from personal experience.
  * Use "I" statements.
                     BECOMING SELF-AWARE...
                     * Of your thought processes, your assumptions,
                        your feelings.
                     * Of being a part of the whole...
                             & of your unique contributions.                            

                     * Safety....  including freedom of choice.
   * Respect....   to "look again."
   * Open-mindedness....   willingness to consider                                                  other possibilities, other ways of seeing things.
                     * Authenticity....   & willingness to participate.

* Hear every voice.                              "Dialogue is a conversation    
* See others as peers.               with a center, not sides."
* Appreciate difference.             Dialogue and the Art of Thinking
* Speak from the heart.             Together    -- by William Isaacs

             THE OBJECT, more than knowledge & learning,
              * To know oneself more deeply.
             * To understand, accept, & appreciate others.
             * To see connections, relationships, the whole.
             * To be... think... relate... & create... together.

* Through silence & sharing       There is a way between voice and
   space/time together.              presence where information flows.
* By slowing down.                   In disciplined silence it opens. 
* By vulnerable listening.          With wandering talk it closes.
* Through personal inquiry                                          -- Rumi
   & reflection.
* By examining assumptions.
* By suspending judgment.
* By speaking from the heart.
         * By practicing, reflecting, sharing, practicing, reflecting, sharing.

                       "Perfection is not the issue in circle: 
                         Practice is enough."       
                   Calling the Circle -- The First and Future Culture
                                                        -- by Christina Baldwin
* Sit in a circle.
* Speak one person at a time.
* Speak to the center, or to the whole circle.
* Honor the person holding the "talking stick."
* Use pauses, silence, & the talking stick
   -- to slow down, process, & reflect
   -- and so all can participate.
* Share accountability & leadership.

         A dialogue group is self-directing & self-facilitating.
       Follow the agreements, rituals, format, & closing time
                  -- or agree to change them.

Dialogue Part 1

   Dialogue is a special kind of group conversation
                             * where every voice is heard
                          * where every participant is valued
                             * where collective meaning unfolds

Dialogue is different from discussion, debate, decision-making,
negotiation & compromise -- which are "convergent."

      "Dis-cuss" means to break apart.    "Dia" means through.
       Discussion breaks the whole down    "Logos" refers to meaning.  
       into its parts                                             In dialogue, meaning unfolds
       -- to make distinctions                      through conversation.
       -- to analyze, compare, judge,                See David Bohm's work
           and choose.                                                  "On Dialogue"
         Discussion & debate promote     Dialogue promotes
                  telling, selling, persuading     listening, inquiry, learning
                     defending one's position     examining assumptions
                                     "being right"     being included & valued
                           closure, conclusions     possibilities, staying open
                       choosing "what's best"     seeing the value in differences
              fragmentation & competition      harmony, relationships,                                                                                                 & the whole

Dialogue is more than just a conversation
("con-verse" means to turn together).
It is a way of relating to others,
 and a way of connecting with others.
And it is a sharing -- of self with others,
and a sharing of "space/time" .... together.


    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. 
   I'll meet you there.  When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.  Ideas, language,
    even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense. -- Rumi

Contact Matt Millar –-- cello2econ@gmail.com ---circles of meaning

Personal learning.   Renewal.   Transformation.
Empowerment.     Authenticity.    Involvement.
Understanding.  Perspective.  Depth.  Insights.
Collective wisdom.     Connection.    Creativity.

        "Dialogue is a powerful communications practice that transforms     those who engage in it." 
         Dialogue -- Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation                                                      -- by Linda Ellinor & Glenna Gerard

      A SAMPLE FORMAT                (90 min. - 2 hours)
      * Dialogue clarifications or reminders.     (2-5 min.)
      * Check-in / going around the circle.  (10-15 min.)
      * Silence.                                            (3+ min.)
      * Dialogue.                                    (60-90 min.)
      * Reflection on process / go around.  (15-20 min.)           

              ... AND WHAT IS THE SUBJECT?
                  It could be:
                  * a pre-set topic or question
                  * a topic, question, quote, or poem someone brings
                  * a "non-contingent" dialogue on what emerges from                       the check-in & the silence / reflection that follows.                                            
                              HOW MANY IN A DIALOGUE CIRCLE?
                              It can be 2 or 3, to 20 or more....
                              but 6 to 12 is a good number.

                  The Four-fold Way -- by Angeles Arrien
            * Show up & choose to be present.
            * Pay attention to what has heart & meaning.      
            * Tell the truth without blame or judgment.
            * Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.  


Should dialogue replace convergent discussions & decision-making?
Of course not.  Both are necessary.  But dialogue provides a balance, depth, context, and collective wisdom.  If you dialogue first, your discussions and decisions will be different, and better, and so will be
the results.  Also, in dialogue, each individual is given the space to be heard, the opportunity for willing change, and the freedom of choice with its accountability.               –George Kemnitz 6/2002