D19- Debate versus Discussion versus Dialogue

In a debate the purposes are usually:

  • To win (“win-lose” thinking between two sides)
  • To defend your idea as best as you can (ego investment: “your idea”)
  • To look for your opponent’s weaknesses and use them to defeat him
  • To know who is right and who is wrong, or who can argue better
  • To settle an issue
  • (To learn is usually NOT a purpose of debate)

Discussion involves:

  • Presenting and talking about two or more ideas, solutions or options (many “sides”)
  • Analyzing and evaluating different proposals to make a rational choice on the best one
  • Listening and comparing different views to look for common ground for agreement or “win-win” combinations
  • Looking for the best choice or solution, usually based on “either/or” thinking
  • Not only rationality but also exercise of power, influence or peer pressure
  • Making a final choice.

Dialogue requires the following:

  • Ability to be aware of your thinking processes (metacognition or Peter Senge’s “left-hand column”)
  • Ability to recognize and suspend your own assumptions and judgments
  • Willingness to admit your own mistakes or limitations
  • Ability to listen to different viewpoints or interpretations
  • Willingness to admit that you have only a few pieces of the entire jigsaw puzzle
  • Ability to see the strength and value of a different idea; ability to see an idea from many perspectives
  • Ability to make explicit one’s “ladder of inference” (according to Peter Senge, your sequence of thinking between what you see and what you conclude)
  • Ability to see that there are many ways of framing a question, and there can be many right answers to a question (there are no “sides” or you don’t “take sides”)
  • Ability to think “out of the box”
  • Ability to put several different views into a more encompassing view
  • Ability to sense what is emergent.

Dialogue can lead to:

  • Generating many new ways of looking at the same thing
  • Generating novel frameworks
  • Understanding, appreciating, combining and sharing meanings; evolving and generating new meanings
  • Generating innovations and new learnings
  • Broadening choices.

Here are the four stages to Generative Dialogue adapted from William Isaacs’ book “Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together”:

4-stages-to-generative-dialogue

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2 Responses to “D19- Debate versus Discussion versus Dialogue”

  1. icejobjob Says:

    大変ですよね、就職活動

    就職氷河期、それも超就職氷河期{と言われる時代に突入しようとしています。

    この、就職氷河期は並大抵の努力では乗り切ることが困難と言われています。

    {米国、アメリカのサブプライムを皮切りに引き起こされた|世界同時不況とも言われている}今回の不況、それこそ数年間にわたって、世界経済に{影響を与えます。|インパクトを与え続けるでしょう。}

    この時期の、今のあなたが直面している就職活動というイベントは、あなたの人生、就職人生の大きなウエイトを占めることとなります。

    {昨年までの就職活動状況とは180度転換した|就職活動は、技術と知識で乗り切ることが出来ます。}就職氷河期、絶対に後悔しないように全力で戦いましょう。

  2. David Locke Says:

    Dialogue can enable you to find common ground among those that do not agree. Work towards the generic.

    Thanks for this post.

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