September 2017

September 2017:

Dialogue

1 – Definition

Dialogue is, “a process of genuine interaction through which human beings listen to each other deeply enough to be changed by what they learn. Each makes a serious effort to take other’s concerns into their own picture, even when disagreement persists. No participant gives up their identity, but each recognizes enough of the other’s valid human claims so that each will act differently toward the other.”

Dr. Harold Saunders, Founder of the Sustained Dialogue Process

Some distinguishing characteristics of dialogue include the following:

  • Collaborative rather than competitive or conceptual in nature
  • Forces us to re-evaluate and acknowledge assumptions and biases
  • Brings out areas of ambivalence
  • Helps us look for shared meanings
  • Prompts us to listen without judgement and with a view to understand
  • Assist with articulating areas of conflict and difference
  • Helps us build relationships with each other

2 – Resources

  1. To learn more about Dickinson’s history as a culture of dialogue please visit Dickinson’s Sustained Dialogue’s page.