Dialogue is a non-confrontational communication, where both partners are willing to learn from the other and therefore leads much farther into finding new grounds together.Scilla Elworthy, the founder of the Oxford Research Group, set up to develop effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers and their critics
Dialogue describes communication between two or more participants, providing an exchange of ideas. It places an emphasis on the importance of listening to one another rather than simply expressing one’s own opinion. How much do we value it? Life often feels like it is full of monologue; that we are too often expected to listen to one person speak without being given the opportunity to respond, to express agreement or to express a different point of view. Of course, in some settings, dialogue might obstruct the main aim of the communication, for example in a lecture or a political speech, but in many contexts, dialogue can bring depth to understanding and enrichment to relationships as we listen to the opinions of others and show respect to them.
One key value of dialogue is that it invites participation, encouraging others to contribute to the discussion, whether in a semi-formal setting like a university seminar or in the casual conversations of close friends. It encourages a collective conclusion or a joint decision, resulting in shared responsibility for the outcome if one is needed.
These are questions we might discuss:
- What do you enjoying talking about with others?
- How do you feel when your opinion seems to be unwanted or is treated disrespectfully?
- We talk about developing our ‘interpersonal skills’ and ‘cross-cultural understanding’. Can you think of examples of these, perhaps arising from your own experience of being in the UK as an international student, or of some other context?
- What might happen to a society where dialogue is prevented, for religious or political reasons?
- In what areas of your life or about what topics would you like to have more opportunity to dialogue with others?
Come and join our Talk About on Monday 14 June at 7.30 pm, share your idea and make friends.
The Zoom ID and passcode are:
ID: 981 9526 9164