Dialogue explores connections rather than distinctions

“Dialogue is quest for artistry in human communications” (William Isaacs).

It is is most easily understood as “thinking together “. It is a specific type of group conversation with the purpose of social and personal inquiry. Ideally it is a collaborative process in which participants are given the freedom to explore new ways of thinking about the world and about themselves. It offers the possibility of participants going beyond commonplace patterns of conversation and experiencing a free flow of creative thought.

In a successful dialogue participants become aware of common patterns of thought that limit collaborative thinking, such as exchanging only facts and opinions, articulating or defending a position, seeking agreement or endorsement from others, or judging other people. They also become aware of the ways in which their own memories and histories create a horizon to their awareness.

The promise of dialogue is to lead a group of people together into new areas of (self)-awareness and creativity.

True dialogue asks people to put aside institutional, ideological or representative roles and speak for themselves as complex individuals. Behind most dialogue theories lies the observation, which we often conceal from ourselves, that our patterns of thought and communication are rarely as simple, linear, consistent, or coherent as we reveal to others. There are always contradictions, dissenting voices. Dialogue allows us to explore, rather the repress, this richness safely.

Read more here: Dialogue a Proposal by David Bohm, Peter Garrett and Max Factor