Dialogue Practices

Goal: Achieve a flow of meaning (dia-logos) as compared with breaking down one side of an argument (debate). Having diverse opinions, yet still getting along.



I came across a similar concept when learning about team dynamics. Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Not quite the same, but it highlights the need for the conflict stage Storming. Reminding us it is okay to raise conflicts, even if we feel uncomfortable, as long as we are prepared move beyond them.

Storming; as in Brain Storm(ing), doesn't necessarily have the element of conflict occurring. In fact, during a BrainStorm, it is better to suspend your own opinions and pet hates to listen to all the possible solutions, and only then to narrow the set based on requirements and logic. To limit the SolutionSet? to those that each contributor 'would best see fit' can only lead to disagreements and conflict. Would wiki conform more to a conflict setting or a ego-less setting? (in both WikiReality? and WikiIdeals?)

I have rarely seen generative dialogue in the industry. I see it often in Jazz clubs.

One clue that generative dialogue is occurring is when someone says exactly what you were about to say, I have seen this here on Wiki.

The practices are from the book: "Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together" ISBN 0385479999 . Author is William Isaacs, who I know is a big fan of ChristopherAlexander's works. This is just a personal summary and an inadequate abstraction. A visual abstraction of the practices can be seen on: http://home.earthlink.net/~paulcaswell/ea2002/communication.html.

-- PaulCaswell

The list of specific suggestions such as "criticize ideas, not people", "don't guess motives, focus on content", etc. that used to be here has been factored to it's own page - CivilizedDiscussionGuidelines. It was about discussion, not dialogue. The Goals are different, the method is different, and the results are different, hence the page is different.

This sounds like classifications from a book, rather than a "street" classification. That is fine, but you are going to confuse people not familiar with the book.

See Also: TrollDefinition, WikiSocialNorms PositiveDialogueCommunity


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