Do you appreciate silence? In those quiet moments alone at home or in the office – when no one else is around — do you bask in the quietude? Or do you fill the room with music or turn on the TV for “background noise”?
Create a Safe Container
Generative Dialogue begins with a safe container – a space where participants develop mutual trust because they are encouraged to speak openly and candidly without repercussion. This can sometimes be challenging – especially in a business environment where it’s often not easy to speak your mind – particularly in front of the boss. Yet if the atmosphere is such that people cannot speak honestly, trust will not be attained and Generative Dialogue will not be achieved. Moreover, creativity will be hindered.
One of the key principles of Generative Dialogue is that of natural rhythm. This can be quite challenging to achieve as many of us are accustomed to using checklists and agendas in our meetings. With these checklists and agendas comes structure and within that structure, we tend to get attached to specific outcomes. If you are looking for Synchronicity or have interest in attaining Flow, you will need to let go of any connection you may have to any specific result. It is as simple and as difficult as that!
If you’re like many who grew up in American households, you probably heard this suggestion quite often from your parents: “Think before you speak.”
As children, our parents and caregivers do their best to teach us how to treat others kindly and with respect. Thinking before speaking was a lesson taught to us as children to remind us that if we pause for just a moment before we say what wants to “automatically” come out of our mouths, we can make a conscious choice about what we say and thereby how we interact with others.
Welcome uncertainty. Choose to learn more deeply by releasing what you think you know.
I admit; embracing the unknown can feel like a tall order – especially in this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. In what has become a very chaotic world, we prefer to control – or adopt the perception that we can control — our lives. Letting go of that “control” – releasing what we think we know comes with it the notion that we could lose something or that “bad” things will happen. And that can feel extremely frightening.
Generative Dialogue helps us to shift from fragmentation to wholeness. Our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors play a fundamental role in moving us toward Dialogue or away from it. As we cross the threshold into Dialogue, we enter a space where we seek both to understand and be understood, moving from exclusiveness (the need to be right) to inclusiveness (I can learn from you).
Our worldview – our attitudes, beliefs and ways of thinking – can move us towards Dialogue (wholeness) or away from it (fragmentation).
Dialogue involves genuine curiosity and discovery. It is a space to explore, examine, create and learn — revealing information, assumptions and uncertainty. It is a process of inquiry where there is room to seek new understanding – and learn from others — because diversity is valued and each participant respected.
There are many common barriers that prevent Dialogue from emerging – trust, fear and distraction to name a few.
People are often afraid to fully trust themselves and others. There is fear associated with being open to the new ideas and possibilities Dialogue brings forth. It takes courage to suspend judgment and participate wholly. It takes resolve to contemplate deeply held beliefs.