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Does your team, group, or organization practice real dialogue or are you still trying to create solutions using traditional discussion? Genuine dialogue generates synergy, and the outcomes evolve far beyond the mere "sum" of each participant's input. Read more about the difference below, then contact us to facilitate your next meeting and help you realize the benefits of purposeful and structured dialogue to create alignment and real results for your group.

According to Bohm and Peat (1987) sharp distinctions should be made between dialogue and discussion. In discussions the objective is to present one's view in order to convince the other. With some luck, this process may result in some sort of compromise, "but it does not give rise to anything creative" (p. 241). At worst, this sort of back-and-forth discourse leads to conflict or even avoidance of the issue. Dialogue, in contrast, is rooted in the Greek word dialogos, literally meaning "through (dia) the word (logos)" (Bohm and Peat, 1987; Pattakos in Banathy, 1996). Pattakos, notes Banathy, further suggests that various interpretations and translations of logos suggest a much richer, deeper meaning than "the word" or "the meaning of the word." Logos, according to Pattakos, carries significant spiritual implications, that it can connote "a manifestation of spirit or soul" giving the concept of dialogue a much more meaningful and significant definition. This deeper understanding can be conceptualized then as a spirit which connects the members of a dialogue, creating a collective mindset or 'collective learning.' (Pattakos, in Banathy, p. 216).

from: Creating Futures: A Systems View of Transformation for our Organizations, Communities & World. Stalinski, S. (2001): Tucson AZ: The Aurora Now Foundation

"Dialogue is really aimed at going into the whole thought process and changing the way the thought process occurs collectively. We haven't really paid much attention to thought as a process. We have engaged in thoughts, but we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process. Why does thought require attention? Everything requires attention, really. If we ran machines without paying attention to them, they would break down. Our thought, too, is a process, and it requires attention, otherwise it's going to go wrong."

David Bohm, On Dialogue

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