Dialogue means “through words”. What we refer to as “dialogue” is a defined set of communication patterns that help people move through issues. These patterns are different than those used in debate (talking at each other), polite discussion (talking with each other while avoiding the hard issues), or deliberation (weighing defined options together in order to reach a decision). Dialogue is more than “just talk”. At the most general level, dialogue is a form of interaction in which people of different backgrounds with different experiences can share their thoughts and be heard in an environment of mutual respect. Why use it? It works! Well planned dialogue can build the foundation of mutual understanding and trust that is needed to help our communities work through difficult issues.
In this blog we explore the importance of dialogue and also the challenges it presents. Good dialogue takes focus, effort, careful planning, and perseverance. Good dialogue also pays off as it produces wiser, more sustainable decisions while minimizing the costs of conflict. If you are interested in learning more about dialogue, explore the many posts and resources on this blog, or give us a call!