Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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                                                                                                                                 

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