Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dialogic Listening and Dynamic Facilitation

Few days ago, I was reading GRP-FACL posts while stumbled on a post of Jim Rough's who despite the surname is a really enjoyable person ;)

Anyway Jim invented what is called Dynamic Facilitation. I am intrigued by it because:
1) I work with CoPs where trust is important and dynamic facilitation is said to develop trust;
2) it is choice-creating (I get bored at usual facilitation, cause its outcome is often too predictable for me);
3) it creates a win-win situation (which I like, while I absolutely hate the patronizing/condescending traditional way of beating people into a consensus nobody really agrees with, but everybody pretends to buy into).

I have to admit, I tend to like more "confrontational" styles of interaction, like dialogic listening as opposed to Rogers' active listening.

I love dialogic listening because it:
1) emphasizes conversation as a shared activity (ahem... otherwise why should I take any part in it?);
2) values an open end (if I already know the outcome, why am I playing the game???And I can't stand overbearing egos fighting for having the upper end..);
3) focuses on what happens between the parts, rather than in their heads, or around them (if all happens in my head, even when I speak with you, what's the point of interacting? Can't I just read a book to get the stimulation I need to think on? *grin*);
4) stresses being in the present (if I do things now thinking about the past, or the future, what's the sense of doing them now????).

It's funny how dialogic listening (and "confrontational approaches") could be culturally unacceptable for Americans and other anger-avoidant cultures in which open discussion of the conflict is a taboo, while "tiptoeing" facilitation, the one so respectful of egos and their trips is so popular....

No wonder we (Westeners) go to war... we don't know how to have a real, honest, dialogue, possibly before the H*ll breaks loose!

Maybe what I really like of online settings is that there is more flame, more confrontation and thereby more occasions to be real, authentic, rather than politically-correct, anesthetized, "polite".

When I say "consideration for people", I do not mean we should lie or tiptoeing around others. I DO mean, however, that if we want to be honest, we better learn not to be brutal. Being unable to carry a conversation in a graceful way is not a fine quality, no matter how many times we twist it into a rational explanation. Otherwise the only beings that will bear with us will be our animals and plants.

And NO, being unable of meaningful relationship with fellow humans is not a compliment in my book, mo matter how many animals, plants, or whatever we end up adopting!


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