Debate vs. Dialogue
Dialogue is distinct from Debate:
Debate is valued in Western societies as a key tool for informed decision making.
Dialogue has a vital, if quieter, role to play: it can build bridges across divides.
Unbalanced by lacking dialogue,
the constructive impact of debate has diminished.
Our societies increasingly polarize as
we gravitate towards people who share our own views.
Differences between Debate and Dialogue include:
Two sides attempt to prove
each other wrong.
Two sides work together toward
The atmosphere is threatening;
attacks are expected.
The atmosphere is one of safety, active
listening and respectful exchange.
Participants listen in order to expose faulty logic.
Participants listen to understand and gain insight.
Participants affirm their own point of view.
Participants enlarge their own point of view.
Assumes that someone has the right answer.
Assumes that many people hold a piece of the solution.
“Insights, new relationship, and commitment to action:
these are the fruits of dialogue"