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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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Chapter 7

Sustaining Dialogue

I have worked with many organizations over the years. Dialogic leaders come and go and for this reason the quality of dialogue in organizations fluctuates over time from good to bad or bad to good. Successful organizations sustain effective dialogue over time by leveraging approaches, methods, and processes into their operating systems in order to sustain dialogue even when current leaders don’t demonstrate a skill or favor for dialogue.

Dialogue Approaches, Methods, Processes, and Systems

I list next some of the most common and robust dialogue systems, methods, and processes that I know to exist and/or have personal experience with myself and that I recommend to dialogue leaders. Before proceeding it is useful to clarify terminology as I tend to hear many different terms used for the list that follows. My Oxford dictionary provides the following useful definitions:1

  • Approach—A way of dealing with a person or thing.
  • Method—The orderly arrangement of ideas.
  • Methodology—A body of methods used in a particular activity.
  • Process—A course of action or proceeding as in the stages of manufacture.
  • Procedure—A series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner.
  • System—A complex whole, an organized body of material or immaterial things, or a method of choosing one’s procedure.
  • Theory—A supposition or system of ideas explaining something.

Although I allow the reader to decide if the following list is best described as approaches, methodologies, processes, ...

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