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Democratic Practices and Inclusive Excellence



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Democratic Practices and Inclusive Excellence

  1. 1. Democratic Practices and Inclusive Excellence Stephan Hiroshi Gilchrist Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  2. 2. What brought you to this presentation?
  3. 3. What is Democratic Practice? 1. Engages diverse perspectives, explores concerns and assumptions, transforms conflict and disagreement, and works collaboratively to find creative solutions and constructive change 2. It is a set of principles and practices that guide how people interact and work together every day to improve their community and to create a more just society 3. Involves informed community members 4. Involvement in decision-making by those most likely to be affected by the outcome The Democracy Imperative
  4. 4. Democratic Practices • Systems Thinking • Dialogue • Deliberation • Conflict Transformation
  5. 5. Systems Thinking Systems thinking is a way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships among a system's parts, rather than the parts themselves. It can help you design smart, enduring solutions to problems. Systems thinking gives you a more accurate picture of reality. It encourages you to think about problems and solutions with an eye toward the long view. Pegasus Communication
  6. 6. Dialogue • Dialogue is about bringing together many voices, many stories, many perspectives, many experiences with a goal to increase understanding about others and ourselves. It is a safe and honest facilitated discussion aimed at providing an opportunity to tell your story, listen to others and build understanding. Jen Murphy, George Mason University’ • Dialogue is a foundational communication process leading directly to personal and organizational transformation. It assists in creating environments of high trust and openness, with reflective and generative capacities. One might think of dialogue as [an]…approach in the development of the following organizational disciplines: continuous learning, diversity, conflict exploration, decision making and problem solving, leadership, self-managing teams, organizational planning and alignment, and culture change. Linda Ellinor, The Dialogue Group dialogue video
  7. 7. Debate Dialogue Unwavering commitment to one’s own views and ideas Open to hearing and understanding other perspectives Trying to convince others to see the situation from your perspective or to agree with you Asking questions to understand other people’s point of view Combative, where participants attempt to prove the other side wrong Collaborative, where participants work together toward common understanding Assuming there is a right answer, and you have it. Assuming that there are multiple perspectives and that integrating these perspectives provides a more effective solution Listening to find flaws and counterarguments. Listening to understand and find meaning Critiquing others’ views and ideas. Reexamining all views, ideas, and assumptions –including one’s own
  8. 8. Deliberation Deliberation is a process that brings people together to study an organizational, community, social, or political issue. It asks it’s participants to identify possible solutions, consider the advantages, disadvantages, and trade-offs for each choice, and make decisions about how an issue should be addressed. Dialogue provides the comprehensive and shared understanding needed for quality deliberation and effective decision making to occur. The Democracy Imperative Open Space Video
  9. 9. Conflict Transformation Conflict is…foremost a potential occasion for growth in two critical and interrelated dimensions of human morality. The first dimension involves strengthening the self. This occurs through realizing and strengthening one’s inherent human capacity for dealing with difficulties of all kinds by engaging in conscious and deliberate reflection, choice, and action. The second dimension involves reaching beyond the self to relate to others. This occurs through realizing and strengthening one’s inherent human capacity for experiencing and expressing concern and consideration for others, especially others whose “situation” is different from one’s own. Conflict confronts each party with a challenge…or adversity to grapple with. This challenge presents…the opportunity to clarify…their needs and values, what causes them satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Bush and Folger
  10. 10. Skills and Knowledge 1. Intercultural communication 2. Conflict transformation 3. Deep listening, self-reflection, empathy, flexibility, curiosity 4. Self-awareness of one’s own cultural biases, assumptions, and preferences 5. Understanding shared human needs and interests 6. Gather relevant data for dialogue and deliberation
  11. 11. What Is Democratic Practice? 1. What would a democratic work environment look like where you work currently? 2. What are the qualities that are needed? Example: trust, transparency, reciprocity 3. What would democratic structures and processes look like? Where would decision be made, by whom, how? What happens if there are different perspectives? 4. How are decisions made currently?
  12. 12. Resources • National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation • The Democracy Imperative • Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service • Cooperative Extension Systems Thinking Team • Cooperative Extension Conflict Management Team • Colleagues in Cooperative Extension • Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 608-262-3049