Chapter 5

Before You Begin

The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

Once you have a clear idea about what dialogue isn’t—the potential escape routes and barriers that prevent it—then you are ready to take action to help your group discover what dialogue is. Let’s be up-front about it. This is “lead a horse to water” territory. You have little overt power to shift a group’s norms away from traditionally narrow communication and thought routines. That’s the bad news. The good news is that formal authority isn’t useful in bringing about dialogue anyway—so ...

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