How can we create nurturing and constructive
conversations despite conflicting values and world views?
They naturally invite arguments for and against competing ideas.
Political debates are key for a functioning democracy.
Yet, polarizations can be one of the outcome.
Dialogue has a vital, if quieter, role to play in a resilient society:
it can build bridges across divisions within communities.
WHAT DIALOGUE IS
Dialogues are open conversations in which participants
create meaningful connections and grow deeper mutual understanding.
Dialogue is explicitly distinct from debate, discussion, or negotiation.
WHAT DIALOGUE IS NOT
DEBATE is usually an argument held with the objective of one side winning.
DISCUSSION is generally a rational and analytical investigation of a topic.
NEGOTIATION aims to overcome difference by
producing an agreement or treaty.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS DO
They listen and are listened to with care.
They speak and are spoken to with respect.
They learn about the perspectives of others.
They openly review their own views.
WHAT PARTICIPANTS GAIN
WHAT DIALOGUE TAKES
Constructive dialogue is supported by:
“The most basic of all human needs
is the need to understand and be understood.”
Ralph G. Nichols