“Like a seed is an aperture to a tree, dialogue is an aperture to our future” – David Bohm
How we talk together determines our effectiveness – quality conversational conduct is the bedrock on which organizational performance is built – it was, for sure, the foundation on which the governing citizens of Ancient Greece, the Polis of the Athenian Forum, saw civilisation being built.
Dia Logos was the name they gave to ‘quality talking together’. It translates as ‘flow of meaning’ – it is not the words uttered or heard that count, but only the meaning intended and received.
Dialogue is not raw debate, nor is it simply polite conversation, it is a purposeful deliberation with a centre, not sides. It is not about skilful advocacy and the winning of arguments but is an attempt at a purposeful collective inquiry into the topic to hand. Participants in a dialogue are partners in the pursuit of shared understanding, not contenders in a battle – there are no winners or losers – in a way, dialogue is the opposite of debate. In dialogue we harness collective intelligence – it is the most productive form of conversation we can have.
“The four most important words in business – What. Do. You. Think.” – Kevin Roberts