David Bohm Dialogues

On Dialogue

Thought as a System

Bohm Dialogue – Wikipedia

I (Google desktop) found two text files on my PC, from the nineties! (I am like that).

Bohm Dialogue Proposal
The item describes in some detail the purpose & structure of Dialogue as proposed by Bohm & colleagues.

Bohm Dialogue – book extract
An item from a newsgroup. Summarises the material on Dialogue from the book: Science, Order and Creativity 1987

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From the Dialogue Page on the Co-Intellignece website

Guidelines for Open Dialogue

The more all participants are aware of the nature of dialogue and committed to bringing it about, the better the chance it will happen. Towards that end, the following comparison of dialogue and debate offers one of the most useful summaries of dialogue that we’ve seen. (It was adapted by the Study Circle Resource Center from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which in turn was based on discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility.)

More follows, including a list of bullet points.

Even on first reading, it can change one’s perspective. The specifics, however, can be hard to keep in mind. So the more often people read (and discuss) the list, the more effective it will be. Perhaps someone will put the items on this list into fortune cookies for group use. Until then, you could write each one on a card and give every participant in a meeting one card to keep in mind, on behalf of the whole group.

  • Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together toward common understanding. Debate is oppositional: two sides oppose each other and attempt to prove each other wrong.
  • In dialogue, finding common ground is the goal. In debate, winning is the goal.
  • In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find meaning, and find agreement. In debate, one listens to the other side in order to find flaws and to counter its arguments.
  • Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participant’s point of view. Debate affirms a participant’s own point of view.
  • Dialogue reveals assumptions for reevaluation. Debate defends assumptions as truth.
  • Dialogue causes introspection on one’s own position. Debate causes critique of the other position.
  • Dialogue opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the original solutions. Debate defends one’s own positions as the best solution and excludes other solutions.
  • Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to change. Debate creates a closed-minded attitude, a determination to be right.
  • In dialogue, one submits one’s best thinking, knowing that other people’s reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it. In debate, one submits one’s best thinking and defends it against challenge to show that it is right.
  • Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one’s beliefs. Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one’s beliefs.
  • In dialogue, one searches for basic agreements. In debate, one searches for glaring differences.
  • In dialogue, one searches for strengths in the other positions. In debate, one searches for flaws and weaknesses in the other positions.
  • Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person and seeks to not alienate or offend. Debate involves a countering of the other position without focusing on feelings or relationship and often belittles or deprecates the other person.
  • Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can put them into a workable solution. Debate assumes that there is a right answer and that someone has it.
  • Dialogue remains open-ended. Debate implies a conclusion.
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