The Magic of Dialogue

May 10th, 2016 | 62 Comments

As soon as I read Lilian’s email I knew we had a problem. We had designed what we believed was a powerful, participative workshop to enable a client team to clarify their purpose and activities. But a recent announcement by their senior executive made our design less workable.

When we began our call, neither Lilian or I knew how would work around this new development. But we had known each other and worked together for years. And I had faith that we would be able to solve this problem together. This faith was based on our history of respecting each other, listening to each other and being able to influence each other.

I was on vacation and had the luxury thinking only about this problem for a day or two. So I began the call by proposing a somewhat wild idea. (Big problems often require wild solutions.) When I asked her what she thought of the idea, she described the part of the idea that she liked (whew, a vote that I wasn’t crazy). Then she pointed to the part that seemed impractical. She then added a structure that would make it more workable. It was my turn to listen deeply to her idea. In the spirit of dialogue; paused, thought and included it, then added another feature I believed would improve on it. She thought about my addition and questioned it. Then expressed a liking for it. We went back and forth for a few more rounds, each time listening to each others’ ideas, then adding a another feature of our own. It was like taking turns building a Lego castle. Before long we had a workshop design that we both like and we both thought would give the team what they needed.

This kind of working dialogue involves two different skills: deep and open minded listening; and free, bold self expression. Each of us had ideas and opinions that arose from our respective experiences and our beliefs. But we could not be so attached to our ideas that we couldn’t alter them, or give them up in the face of a seemingly better idea.

The skill here is to know when to let go of an idea and when to advocate for it. This requires a level of self-awareness that can differentiate between liking an idea because your ego is attached to it and liking an idea because it makes sense, moves the conversation forward or contributes to solving the problem. Skillful dialoguers move back and forth between listening deeply, stating ideas and self-reflecting.

The goal is to create a “third person” who emerges from the minds of two opinionated and open minded individuals. David Bohm, the physicist and popularizer of the dialogue movement calls this phenomenon creating the “group mind”. My experience with these kinds of dialogue has led me to see possibilities for its use in the workplace, in the home, in universities and even in politics. If people trained dialogue and practiced it, could the world actually become a better, more innovative and less contentious place?

62 Responses to “The Magic of Dialogue”

  1. steam for sex games wrote:

    sex simulation games

  2. usa casino online wrote:

    online casino real money free bonus

  3. best usa online casino 2021 wrote:

    admiral casino online

  4. gokken in online casino wrote:

    real money casino online

  5. riversweeps 777 online casino wrote:

    virgin casino online

  6. big fish casino online wrote:

    no deposit online casino

  7. pa online casino wrote:

    best online casino slots

  8. inferno casino online wrote:

    best online real money casino

  9. online casino instant withdrawal wrote:

    online pokies casino

  10. avocado keto wrote:

    broccoli salad keto

  11. keto restaurant wrote:

    keto wings

  12. best keto foods wrote:

    speed keto

  13. keto bakery near me wrote:

    keto nachos

  14. wrote:

    cheap essay writing

  15. writing essays in college wrote:

    writing an introduction to an essay

  16. cheapest essay writing service wrote:

    persuasive writing essay

  17. pay someone to write your essay wrote:

    pay someone to write an essay

  18. cholo dating gay wrote:

    gay speed dating boston

  19. gay dating show room raiders wrote:

    gay greek dating

  20. gay kids dating wrote:

    gay dating sites hornet asians

  21. critical thinking activity wrote:

    hesi critical thinking

  22. hesi a2 critical thinking wrote:

    introduction to logic and critical thinking

  23. critical thinking characteristics wrote:

    identify the first step of critical thinking

  24. nursing essay wrote:

    outline for essay

  25. thematic essay wrote:

    essay writer free online

  26. free compare and contrast essay examples wrote:

    respond essay

  27. how to write a good introduction for an essay wrote:

    compare and contrast essay examples for college

  28. police brutality essay wrote:

    how to write a persuasive essay

  29. what is the thesis statement of an essay wrote:

    college essay helper

  30. argumentative essay topics for college wrote:

    opinion essay examples

  31. compare and contrast essay topics wrote:

    essay writing format

  32. argumentative essay topics for middle school wrote:

    synthesis essay ap lang

  33. 3demonstrated wrote:


  34. best gay dating apps for men over 40 wrote:

    gay bear dating sites

  35. adam for adam gay online dating wrote:

    chubby chub gay dating

  36. gay sex dating wrote:

    gay dating sites that work

  37. smooth chubby chub gay transsexual dating wrote:

    gay teen dating sites

  38. best dating apps for gay wrote:

    gay dating search for free

  39. good gay chub dating wrote:

    gay autism dating vancouver washington

  40. gay chat porn wrote:

    chat gay usa

  41. gay teen dating wrote:

    best gay dating site

  42. nh gay chat wrote:

    gay chat chartestone

  43. gay pnp freegay chat denver wrote:

    live gay webcam chat rooms

  44. gay dating game orgy wrote:

    bear gay dating site

  45. ruby slots wrote:

    play free vegas slots

  46. casino free slots wrote:

    free on line slots

  47. vegasworld fun free slots wrote:

    best online slots

  48. free slots machines wrote:

    gsn casino free slots

  49. free dragons lair slots wrote:

    bowser slots mario party 2

  50. 456 free slots casino wrote:

    black pawkeet slots guide

  51. yahoo slots farm wrote:

    penny slots

  52. simslots free slots wrote:

    free video slots

  53. free slots vegas wrote:

    free vegas slots online

  54. old vegas slots wrote:

    scatter slots characters

  55. free casino slots wrote:

    my vegas slots free chips

  56. cesars slots wrote:

    shaved models slots

  57. cheap dissertation writing service wrote:

    dissertation format

  58. affordable dissertation writing services wrote:

    dissertation paper writing services

  59. doctoral dissertation help business wrote:

    dissertation paper writing service

  60. best dissertation writing wrote:

    defend dissertation

  61. dissertation help uk wrote:

    how to choose a dissertation topic

  62. dissertation committee wrote:

    dissertation crossword clue