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What Constitutes High Quality Dialogue?

Here are some thoughts about what constitutes high quality dialogue.Consider using them in your next meeting, class, or everyday discussion to evaluate the quality of the dialogue. Expressing opinions honestly in response to what others have said:

  • Participants acknowledge that they are expressing their own opinion, rather than expressing an opinion that is true for everyone.
  • Participants are able to relate a feeling or story to what has been said.
  • Participants express their opinions in a positive and constructive way.

Listening attentively to what others have said and responding empathetically:

  • Participants state in their own words the point of view of those who have a different opinion.
  • Participants ask questions to get clarity about another point of view.
  • Participants make statements that recognize how other people feel.

Responding in ways that show an effort to understand others:

  • Participants respond to the insights of others with questions, agreements or respectful disagreement.
  • Participants do not try to convince others to change their point of view.

Responding in ways that show openness and a willingness to learn:

  • Participants identify and recognize their own assumptions.
  • Participants acknowledge any changes in their own points of view.
  • Participants state what they have learned from others.

© 20012-2013 Network for Peace through Dialogue
Based on the principles of democracy and social justice, Network for Peace through Dialogue seeks to promote peace through dialogue. To accomplish this, the Network sponsors its Living Room Dialogues, and the Confronting Concerns & Shaping our Future Programs. The Network issues a semi-annual newsletter and is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization.

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