Dialogical Communication: From conversations to community interactions

„To enter into dialogue with one another“ means … to communicate in a way which makes it possible to better understand oneself and others. The framework for this kind of communication may be a structured mediated group process, lead by a team of process leaders.

Some possible outcomes of dialogic conversations: conflicts may by transformed or made less volatile; relationships may improve or start anew; positive experiences may bring new confidence – even controversial or challenging topics can be dealt with in a constructive way; new ideas and perspectives may emerge. Building on the energy which is set free in dialogue, participants may feel new motivation for initiative or change.

A dialogue differs in atmosphere or spirit from discussion or debate. Supported by conversation guidelines agreed upon at the start, a dialogue can become a creative process centred on a positive question in which participants are invited to take active part, should they so choose, and to listen intentionally to each other. A dialogue provides the space and time to address problems or different points of view as a mutual opportunity.

Dialogic conversations and interactions can be cornerstones for a culture of constructive discourse based on pluralism and diversity. They can be used as training tools for workgroups or in private communities, or organized as public meetings in neighbourhoods or towns, in order to address local issues and controversies. 

Dialogue can be included in more complex process designs, such as the development of specific agreements or protocols/conventions in organizations, municipalities or schools.