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Some theories about dialogue for a module on workshop facilitation in MSc Agile Software Development

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  1. 1. Dialogue
  2. 2. DEVELOPMENTAL LEVELSTheory of Developmental Levels (Herb Shepard 1965)Primary Mentality  A zero-sum game between individual and group  If an individual co-operates, the group gains  But the individual loses outSecondary Mentality  The co-operative group gains more viewpoints  And strengthens each person’s individuality
  3. 3. CONSENSUSFacilitated workshops usually aim for consensusConsensus is defined as:  General agreement  Absence of sustained opposition  Taking account of all parties’ views  Reconciling any conflicting arguments to gain consensus can degenerate into forcing people to say that they agree
  4. 4. DIALOGUE IS MORE AMBITIOUS Negotiation aims to arrive at an agreement between parties that differ Collaboration aims to share decision-making Consensus aims to reconcile conflicting views Dialogue aims to find a new understanding, leading to new ways to think and act that, in turn, lead to other new ideas
  5. 5. WHAT IS DIALOGUE? DIA = through LOGOS = word / meaning / gather together > relationship DIALOGUE = flow of meaning through relationships TQM seeks to solve the problem of errors, not by correcting errors after they occur, but by changing processes so errors don’t occur in first place Dialogue seeks to solve the problem of fragmentation not by rearranging the components of conversation, but by uncovering and changing the underlying structures that cause fragmentation in the first place
  6. 6. EARLY (first?) USE OF DIALOGUETo improve conversations among physicistsDavid Bohm (1965) advocated: Groups of 20–40 people meet in a circle (enough people to avoid any family dynamic) For several hours each day, over several days No agenda Try to suspend preconceptions and prejudices Look at process, at how thoughts have moved
  7. 7. EARLY (first?) USE OF DIALOGUEDavid Bohm describes Dialogue as:  1st person speaks  2nd person hears similar meaning (not the same)  As 2nd person replies, 1st person sees a difference between what he meant to say and what 2nd person heard  This difference suggests something new  As dialogue continues, new content emerges  So they are creating something in common, new
  8. 8. BOHM’S PHILOSOPHYBohm on PhysicsReality involves unbroken wholeness in flowing movementBohm on DialogueThought is a collective enterprise arising from how we discourseConditions for effective dialogue All participants must "suspend" their assumptions, literally, to hold them "as if suspended before us"; All participants must regard one another as colleagues; There must be a facilitator who holds the context of dialogue
  9. 9. MEETINGS ARE LONELY PLACESMost of the time, we think alone: We defend our position We look for evidence to prove that we are right and others are wrong We avoid being vulnerable to other opinions We withhold information We feel hurt or betrayed We lose respect for the other side
  10. 10. HISTORYCultures that used dialogue survived for a long time: e.g. Native Americans, Ancient Greeks, MaorisSo, is dialogue something we already know? or is it something we have forgotten?
  11. 11. CLAIMS for DIALOGUEWhen F W de Klerk visited Nelson Mandela in prison, they devised a new context for South AfricaJohn Hume & Jerry Adams talked privately about how to stop violence in N. Ireland In both cases, dogmatists went to great lengths to prevent these conversations. . Isobel thinks the magic here was that the conversations were out of the public eye.A new “mind” emerges, if:Participants believe that maintaining good feelingswithin the group is more important than holding totheir fixed position
  12. 12. HARGROVEA dialogue is a conversation where: There is a free flow of meaning … and Diverse views & perspectives are encouraged People desire to learn from different colleaguesCollaboration is based on inspiring visions It is deeply purposeful, focused on practical accomplishments that are carried out in conversations
  13. 13. FACTS model