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Dialogue

Origin of Dialogue as a Method


The roots of the word dialogue come from the Greek words dia and logos. Dia means “through”; logos translates to “words”or “meaning”. In essence dialogue is a flow of meaning. The dialogue as a concept and a method started to gain attention in 1980s. Through research and efforts of David Bohm, William Isaacs and a few more pioneers, dialogue has become a recognized essential methodology in organizational learning.

Benefits of this method


Dialogue seeks to address “upstream” in that it tries to change thinking and feelings from the origin rather than from the level of results in the thinking. Dialogue is a process that weaves in all kinds of assumptions based on collective experiences. It is a constant inquiry to individual and collective mental models.
Applying dialogue principles could create space for authentic conversations. The participants could try exploring topics that are not easily discussed and to co-create an environment that could help express true thinking and feeling.
Used in working teams, dialogue could become an attitude and toolset to empower the team to handle issues resulted from misunderstanding and miscommunications.

Process of Dialogue


The process of dialogue is a constant process of observation and reflection, both inside each individual and as a group. Hence, the process “route” is decided mostly by the participants. The facilitator reminds the time and principles of dialogue and hosts a space for dialogue in the process. Intervention is minimal. Some basic principles help the participants learn to move into dialogue more easily. The facilitator could spend some time helping participants understand these principles and their spirits. Reminders could be given in the dialogue process.
Some effective principles include:
1. Speak from “I”
2. Feel Moved to Speak
3. Silence is Participation
4. Confidentiality

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