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Dialogue Gap: Why Communication Isn't Enough and What We Can Do About It, Fast by Peter Nixon

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Appendix C

Dialogue Skill Practice Activities

Skill # 1—Presence (100 Percent Focused)

Dialogue Skill Activity to Clarify Dialogue Weakness Activity to Improve Dialogue Behavior
Control your emotions to enhance your situation rather than hinder it. Make a list of times recently when your emotional reaction or that of others led to a less than an optimal outcome. Note that conflict avoidance seldom leads to optimal outcomes. The sequence is: event – impulse – reaction – result. Working with a coach or close friend, begin categorizing your levels of response to problems that arise at work, at home, or in society. The levels of response include:Untrained—You react without thinking and pick up the piecesTrained—You think while you react and minimize the impact of your reactionAdvanced—You think before you react and limit the impactMaster—You don’t react and have no impact to deal with
Don’t multitask when in dialogue with others. Watch people around you and find who manages to do the most things while in talking to others (commonly on the phone). In pairs, sit down facing the person with whom you are in dialogue, switch your phone to mute, ask them to speak for 2 minutes on something important to them, during which time all you do is look at them and listen. Resist the impulse to nod or speak or smile. Just create the space with your presence so they can talk. Once you have been the listener, switch roles and experience what it feels like to be the speaker when you are with ...

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