Once awakened

Can dialogue itself be more important than the decisions it leads to?

This article is based on an episode from the Open + Curious podcast. To listen, please read more about how to purchase the podcast episodes.

In this conversation, Craig and Jesse explore the concept of dialogue and its transformative power within communities. They begin by discussing a quote from the book “Dialogue” by Isaac, which suggests that once people experience genuine dialogue, they do not revert to superficial interactions.

So then I have to ask myself, how do I have to be in the world so that I can create more moments like that for myself? And for others? And what [for] the spaces that I create? When I’m creating spaces for groups? Or when I’m entering into spaces that already exist for groups? What can I do to bring that feeling? …that dialog? …that awakeness?

~ Jesse Danger (11:30)

Craig expresses uncertainty about the quote’s validity, as he feels he lacks enough sustained experiences of deep dialogue within consistent groups. He contrasts his sporadic podcast conversations with Isaac’s examples of embedded dialogue practices in communities. Jesse, on the other hand, shares his experiences of practicing deep dialogue within his company and recalls his time at a Danish school where dialogue was a core part of daily activities.

The conversation shifts to the impact of dialogue on individuals and groups. Jesse reflects on how his exposure to structured, meaningful conversations in school and at work has shaped his approach to relationships and decision-making. Craig ponders the possibility of creating similar spaces and recognizes that meaningful dialogue doesn’t necessarily require a large group; it can also occur in one-on-one interactions. They discuss the challenge of fostering these dialogic spaces in various contexts and contemplate how to bring the principles of deep dialogue into their everyday lives and communities.

Takeaways

The power of dialogue — Genuine dialogue has the potential to transform individuals and communities, making it hard to revert to superficial interactions once experienced.

Challenges of sustaining dialogue — Consistent deep conversations within the same group are rare and difficult to maintain, highlighting the challenge of embedding dialogue in daily routines.

Experiences in educational settings — Structured dialogue practices in schools can profoundly impact participants, fostering a sense of connection and mutual understanding.

Dialogue in professional environments — Prioritizing dialogue over decision-making in a company can lead to healthier organizational dynamics and better overall outcomes.

Personal growth through dialogue — Meaningful conversations with strangers or colleagues can open up new perspectives and deepen relationships.

Creating dialogic spaces — It is possible to foster spaces for dialogue in various contexts, from small groups to larger communities, by being intentional about conversation practices.

Individual responsibility in dialogue — One must consider how to bring the principles of deep dialogue into their daily interactions and be proactive in creating opportunities for meaningful conversations.

Reflecting on past dialogue experiences — Looking back at previous instances of deep dialogue can help identify the elements that made those conversations impactful and how to replicate them.

Resources

Dialogue by William Isaacs — A book exploring the transformative power of genuine dialogue within communities.

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(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

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