Dialogue and Debate -- One Comparison

Adapted from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which was based on discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR). Published in Focus on Study Circles, Winter 1993.


Dialogue is collaborative: two of more sides work together toward common understanding. In dialogue, finding common ground is the goal.
In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find meaning, and find agreement.
Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participant's point of view.
Dialogue reveals assumptions for reevaluation.
Dialogue causes introspection on one's own position. Dialogue opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the original solutions.
Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to change.
In dialogue, one submits one's best thinking, knowing that other peoples' reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it. Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one's beliefs. In dialogue, one searches for basic agreements. In dialogue, one searches for strengths in the other positions.
Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person and seeks to not alienate or offend.
Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can put them into a workable solution. Dialogue remains open-ended.

From the 1996 Awakening Technology Community of Inquiry and Practice (CIP)
Content and Groupware Design 1996 Awakening Technology.

Awakening Techno
logy...*...333 S. State Street V-233...*...Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034
(503) 635-2615 voice...*...we@johnson-lenz.com
From www.awakentech.com on 02/25/2021 ---- item last modified on 05/31/1997.