Chapter 22

Critical Conversation Protocol

The Critical Conversation Protocol is an intensive conversational exercise focused on uncovering the assumptions that inform how someone understands and responds to a seemingly intractable problem. It works best when applied to the analysis of organizational and community problems involving multiple actors.


  • To help someone gain new insights into a problem he or she faces
  • To identify and check the assumptions that frame how a problem is perceived
  • To present alternative perspectives on a problem that may have been missed
  • To suggest specific ways of dealing with intractable problems

How It Works

  • The protocol involves people playing three conversational roles. The storyteller is the person ...

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