"Dialogue is a conversation with a center, not sides." – William Isaacs
How do you find the center when everyone is taking sides?
Dialogue catalyzes collaborative innovation. It lets you find approaches for adaptive problems–those that require learning, changed mindsets, new attitudes, and new habits. This program will enable you to deepen the strategic and creative imagination and quality of shared action of the teams you engage, the organizations where you work, and the stakeholders you serve.
Go Beyond the Hypnotized State
The proliferating tension among differing viewpoints can be both hypnotic and disturbing. If we absorb other people’s fragmented perspectives, we can be seduced into jumping to conclusions, locking onto polarized beliefs, and closing ourselves off from unforeseen insight. We cannot correctly diagnose our challenges, or collaborate to resolve them, if we are caught in these dynamics.
There is an alternative— an entirely unique way of approaching the work of leadership—dialogic leadership —that can transform not only the way you converse, but how you think, act and lead.
What is truly rare in this world is genuine inquiry – the skill to listen openly, without having fallen into preset ideas and fixed beliefs and mindsets. The thoughts we bring into any situation let us make quick assessment but are not the same as thinking now, thinking slowly, opening previously unseen ground.
We can learn to experience genuine dialogue, a flow of meaning, and allow a level of collective leadership and resilience to emerge among us that cannot be addressed in any other way.
Quieting the storm within, you can learn to hear the wisdom beneath the disturbed waters outside us and within us. And you can catalyze action with others that emerges from a powerful base of shared meaning – that does not require positional agreement. There is a new paradigm to experience and practice, born out of true listening and deep inquiry, that builds resilience, confidence and authority, and that produces transformative results.
Navigate Disruptive Times
Given the rate of exponential change and disturbance in the world, we need more than ever to develop individual and collective capability to provide stable points of leadership. This requires discovering how to strengthen the container or “holding environment” in ourselves, in which we listen, learn and communicate in relationship with ourselves, others and the field of the whole. We need this ourselves, and for relationships with others.
Dialogue is an essential way to address and transform adaptive problems— ones that require learning, changing mindsets, forming new attitudes, developing new behaviors and habits. These problems involve learning to handle loss and difficulty, dealing with emotionally charged and painful subjects, and understanding the impact of fragmentation. From an inspired experience of dialogue, we can deepen our strategic imagination, develop new insight, and find the courage and commitment to act.
Join the Community
For more than the past 30 years we have been conducting dialogues and leadership development processes that evoke genuine and lasting change – in people and institutions. Join a community of leaders from around the world who are committed to making a difference and operating from a new place in themselves.
This course will be virtual and conducted over a year. It consists of four components: Quarter 1 will be an intensive dive into the course content and an introduction to the foundational principles. Quarters 2-4 will expand your practicum, supporting you to apply the insights, principles and tools in your organization, your community and yourself.
Module 1: The Dialogic Way: Understand the subtle magic of true inquiry and collective intelligence, the tactics that make it possible, and the world view that can catalyze it.
· 7 sessions, bi-weekly + interim work, Dec 2020-March, 2021
Module 2: The Practices of Dialogue: Deepen your understanding of the core practices of dialogue – voicing, listening, respecting, and suspending—and the obstacles to their expression.
· 3 Monthly Sessions + interim work, April - June, 2021
Module 3: The Power of the Collective Field: Learn the pattern language and architecture of creative fields, and what it takes to create powerful holding environments in any setting.
· 3 Monthly Sessions + interim work, July-September, 2021
Module 4: Collaborative Innovation: Bring the power of dialogue to bear on surfacing and transforming complex problems in teams, communities and organizations. Focus on finding the real problems, reframing limited narratives, and opening space to let new creative ideas and coordinated action to emerge
· 3 Monthly Sessions, monthly + interim work, October-December, 2021
Imagine developing the capacity to achieve the following:
Creating Sanctuary: Develop a still space inside yourself, and between you and a community of practitioners, that can cut through the hypnotic noise of the 24-hr Media and Info Stream
Building Containers: Create holding environments that allows people with disparate views to come together and generate new insights and direction-without needing to come to ‘agreement’.
Surfacing Insight: Uncover the hidden intelligence and insight within a group– often silent and waiting to surface given the right atmosphere.
Handling Disturbance: Discover the opportunities in disturbance–tension, conflict and resistance– and mine it for energy and intelligence that can change world views.
Finding the Real Problems: Find the right problem to solve and suspend the tendency to fix it fast. Instead, learn to slow down and inquire to get to the authentic blocks and energy sinks hiding below superficial posturing, ideologies and identities.
Deepening the Inquiry: Learn to listen for the right questions to ask–questions that can transform the way your team approaches thinking together –and can improve outcomes, relationships and process
Finding Orientation in OneSelf: Find stability in one’s own presence and larger sense of identity, which allows you access to the wider flow of the animating energy of Life.