The past few weeks we have focused on communications and dialogue. If you missed the articles, you can read them here. Today we will finish up the practice and principles of dialogue.
The Practice of Suspending: “The Principle of Awareness”
• Suspend opinion and judgment, and the certainty that lie behind them.
• Acknowledge and observe thoughts and feelings as they arise without being compelled to act on them; avoid “shoulds.”
• Access your ignorance; recognize and embrace things you do not already know.
• Be courageous in the face of fear.
• Understand what is happening as it is happening; you do not hear and know by turning up the volume.
• Put on hold the temptation to fix, correct, or problem solve. Suspension allows us to inquire into what we observe.
• Question; one good question is better than many answers. Tolerate the tension to not knowing. Ask “What are we missing? What haven’t we said?”
• Resist holding onto positions that polarize. Be willing to expand the conversation to hold beliefs other than your own.
The Practice of Voicing: “The Principle of Unfoldment”
• Notice your reactions, suspend judgment, honor your intuition and cherish your choices. Listen to yourself.
• Be willing to be still.
• Be confident that what you are thinking is valid and relevant.
• Choose consciously before you speak. Ensure that what you say is related to you and not a directive to diminish, change, or dismiss the other.
• Be patient with your self and during silences. Trust the emptiness, the sense of not knowing what to say or do. Sometimes just beginning to speak without determining the words brings forth opportunity.
• In speaking you can create. Give yourself permission to voice what is in the moment.
Maintain the Relationship: Look for the Similarities in the Differences
• Clarify intentions.
• Acknowledge each participant’s uniqueness, perceptions, beliefs.
• Create a container, an intentional space for safe communication.
• Hear and understand me. Identify what you want.
• Even if you disagree, please don’t make me wrong. Support dreaming. No one gets to be wrong.
• Acknowledge the greatness within me.
• Remember to look for my loving intentions. Deepen the listening.
• Tell me the truth with compassion.
• Attend. Pay attention, observe, be aware.
• Ask. Gather information, withhold criticism, be respectful, honor the self.
• Act. Authentically do something that is consciously determined to be the best of all. Offer support; provide feedback. Maintain connection even if you disagree.
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