Re: Info on Dialogue Process LO1443

david.r.dobat (
30 May 95 19:13:11

Replying to LO1410 --

In your post you asked for reference materials on dialogue. The only one
I can think of off the top of my head is On Dialogue by David Bohm. I
think that this text is actually a transcribed and edited conversation
from a talk he gave on the subject.

In most of my conversations I try to carry the "spirit" of dialogue to the
table (or circle as the case may be). That is to say I try to focus on my
own presence, deep listening to the group, listening to myself and
listening to the silence. I try to be aware of my own listening and how
it might be impacting the conversation. I try to suspend my own
judgements and make my reasoning explicit for others to explore. All of
this is very hard to do. I would like to think that by being aware of
these things in conversation, the conversation itself is changed in some
subtle way. I would also like to think that this serves as an invitation
for others to become aware of their own listening, reasoning, etc.

Introducing dialogue and all of its concepts may be more confusing at
first. People are always curious about a conversation whose purpose is to
allow meaning to emerge from the group. Do we have time for that? What
does it look like? Do we have it down yet? These are some of the
questions I have received after introducing the concept (which may be a
sign that I can't introduce dialogue very effectively).

I would suggest that you try different things with different groups and
see which is more effective for you. I have found it helpful to carry
within me the spirit of dialogue and try to explain the concepts later.
In other words, try to model the behavior then after a few conversations
make it explicit. This also allows the space for others to give you
feedback on how "dialogue-like" your own conversations are.

I hope that this helps

David R. Dobat