Growing up in the Central Coast of California, there were numerous places to go on field trips: the agricultural nurseries, greenhouses, seed farms and fields of the Salinas Valley; the manufacturing plants of Peter Paul, Nestles, Firestone and Schilling McCormick; the historical sites of several California Missions, Monterey Presidio, and Steinbeck's Cannery Row; and the natural beauties of the tide pools of Point Lobos, the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains, and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove.
The world expanded for me through these field trips: the world of discovery and education. What memories come to mind when you think of your childhood education?
|Hope Begins: Beauty is Born|
(Monarch Butterflies Need Help, Chicago Sun Times)
I mused with my mentor that the divisions and and struggles in our current political and social lives seem like a tidal wave rather than the gentle ripples that occur when we attempt to dialogue: slowing down, listening, reflecting, and asking questions to understand. Where is there hope when people seem to rush to judgment or make decisions without dialogue or discourse? These impulses seem to dwarf the steps attempted by dialogue.
(Disappearing Monarch, The CommonSenseCanadian)
(An Increase in Numbers, Daily Mail-UK)
I believe that practicing dialogue skills will help us find the answers to these questions. It would be an opportunity to move from Either - Or thinking to hearing and thoughtfully exploring Both - And options. All may be true!
- Combine advocacy with inquiry
Invite others into your viewpoint, allowing them to explore and understand.
("What do you think?")
- Illustrate abstract interpretations with concrete information
Provide information or data that supports your claim.
("This is what I read or considered in my approach.")
- Share your thought process; check for agreement along the Ladder of Inference
Seek to understand assumptions, meanings, and conclusions.
("This is how I came to this conclusion...")
- Look for contradicting data and alternative explanations
Test the conclusions by seeking new ideas and other experiences.
("Are you aware of any other information or thoughts?)
- Support making mistakes in the service of learning
Overcome defended responses by learning from mistakes.
("Oops! I didn't consider that perspective.")
- Notice your own impact on a situation
Become aware of how different roles and communication styles impact dialogue.
("I noticed that you became quiet and didn't respond. Was it because of...?")
- Experiment to test different views
Use various methods to test other explanations.
("Let's try it your way.")
May this week allow us to migrate away from our predictable behaviors and actions toward an interdependence on who we are meant to become together: Hope Rippling Outward!
Dialogue San Diego Consulting