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Martin Fellenz: Creating Dialogue not Debate


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Creating Dialogue not Debate

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Martin Fellenz: Creating Dialogue not Debate

  1. 1. Creating dialogue not debate: The power of advocacy and inquiry Prof Martin Fellenz Trinity College Dublin April 13, 2019 ©Eaquals Eaquals International Conference | Madrid | 11-13 April 2019 #eaquals19madrid
  2. 2. ©Eaquals 2 The challenge: How to constructively deal with different opinions and agendas Among colleagues •  How can we make sure all perspectives are heard and inform the decision- making process? •  How can we turn politicised situations into constructive collaboration? •  How can we sidestep unnecessary conflict and assure better collective decisions? With clients •  How can we really understand our clients’ concerns and interests yet also make ourselves heard and understood? •  How can we prevent others taking advantage when their negotiation position is stronger? In the classroom/with learners •  How can we give our students a stronger voice without loosing control? •  How can we support their learning and address their interests while still covering the content we are responsible for?
  3. 3. More conventional More attuned to the sources of group thought and to surfacing them Raw Debate Polite Discussion Skillful Discussion Dialogue Competition oriented; focus on winning Focus on convergence and closure. Respectful, supports status quo; focus on talking, not necessary listening Balanced; focus on exploration, discovery, insight. Meetings with multiple opinions and interests ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  4. 4. Advocacy -  Here is what I think -  Here is my reasoning -  Here is the data that supports it -  Ideally: present, then ask: “What is wrong with this?” Inquiry -  Why do you think that? -  What is your reasoning? -  What is the data that supports your views? -  Ideally, say: “Help me think like that, too.” ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  5. 5. Advocacy and Inquiry – The key elements •  Use assertive communication that acknowledges differences and gives equal opportunity to all perspectives and opinions •  Clarify the rules to frame the interaction as one based on data and guided by reason (no one likes to argue against rationality and data) •  Focus on any sign of defensiveness and go back to basics if it arises •  Take great care to avoid any party feeling patronised •  Whenever you hit a wall - bring the interaction back to data and reason (“show the data, reveal the reasoning”) ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  6. 6. •  Clearly state your opinion, idea, desire. - I suggest that ........ - Here is my proposal .......... - Thinking out loud, I ........... - Consider ........... •  State the steps in your thinking and reasoning. - Here's what I think, and here's how I got there. - The reasons for my opinion are ........ - The data I'm operating from is ......... - I came to this conclusion because ......... Improving Advocacy (1) ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  7. 7. •  Give specific examples and illustrations -  Here's an example of what I mean. ..... ("We need more leadership, by leadership I mean ....") -  To illustrate this point, "x" is an example of .... •  Make the assumptions known behind your opinion, idea, desire. -  The assumptions underlying my belief are ...... -  I assumed that ....... -  This is my experience which led me to this opinion. ..... •  Assert without dogmatism Improving Advocacy (2) ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  8. 8. •  Inquire into the other person's views. - How do you see the situation? - What leads you to conclude that.........? - What is an example of the kind of thing you're saying or recommending? - What is the concern behind your view? - Tell me more about.......... •  Seek other views about your thinking. - What is your reaction to what I am saying? - Do you see any gaps in what I just said? - How might I see the situation differently? - What might I/we miss by looking at it this way or going in this direction? Improving Inquiry (1) ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  9. 9. •  Encourage challenges to your views. - Do you see the situation differently? - What is it about what I'm saying that raises doubts? - Were you to disagree with my position, what would you say? - What contrary data is out there? •  Look first at your own assumptions and beliefs - publicly test them. - What seems to be missing or flawed in my thinking? - Do my assumptions seem valid to you? •  Genuinely listen to other person's views Improving Inquiry (2) ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  10. 10. The following sources will be helpful: Bolton (1979) - People skills. (interpersonal skills, communication, assertiveness, conflict resolution) Martin & Fellenz (2017) - Organizational behaviour and management (5th ed.). (Communication, interpersonal feedback, leadership & management; advocacy & inquiry; etc.) Also: Cialdini, R.B. (2008). Influence: Science and Practice (5th ed.). New York: Allyn & Bacon. (The ‘Bible’ of how to influence people). Fisher, R., Ury, W.L., & Patton, B. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Penguin. (The classic source for principled negotation – one-stop shopping for a complete and comprehensive account). Senge, P., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R., & Smith, B. (1994). The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building A Learning Organization. Doubleday. (Discusses Advocacy and Inquiry and many other useful topics; great input for understanding and skill-building.) Sutton, R.I. (2009). How to Be a Good Boss in a Bad Economy. Harvard Business Review, June. (Useful discussion of what people need in difficult times, and what managers/leaders need to provide.) Thompson, L. (2008). The heart and mind of the negotiator (4th ed.). Prentice Hall. (Excellent source for all aspects related to negotiation – readable and research informed.) And here some readings on the age-old question on how to deal with difficult people (Good Luck!): Brinkman, R., & Kirschner, R. (2002). Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill. Leibling, M. (2005). How People Tick: A Guide to Difficult People and How to Handle Them. Kogan Page. Ury, W.L. (1993). Getting past no: Negotiating your way from confrontation to cooperation. Bantam. (Useful source for how to deal with the difficulties [and the difficult people] on the way to ‘yes’.) Sutton, R.I. (2010). The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't. Piatkus. Useful readings: ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid
  11. 11. Trinity Business School Thank You Prof. Martin Fellenz •  ©Eaquals #eaquals19madrid