Dialogue based models like Case Method and Appreciative Inquiry are designed to encourage the exploration of new ideas and ways of thinking. Inclusive processes require a set of skills to encourage this open exchange.
Allow for open exploration
- Resist the temptation to impose your view. It is important that participants construct their own understanding.
There really are no right answers
- All ideas and viewpoints hold ‘truth’ for the owner. Assume a position of curiosity rather than one of judgement. Encourage all contributions.
Allow participants to pass
- Some of the discussions will move to sensitive and personal areas. It is perfectly acceptable and expected to move in and out of a discussion. Allow for silence and contemplation.
Vary group composition
- We learn about ourselves in relationship to the ideas and viewpoints of others. A variety of discussion partners will expand one’s frame of reference.
Review the ground rules
- Only one person speaks at a time
- Indicate your interest in speaking through a signal (determined by group)
- No interrupting
- No personal attacks or judgements
- This is a time to speak, be heard and be understood. For many, sharing ideas publicly is uncomfortable and will require patience and encouragement.