A reader has asked me what makes dialogue “genuine,” a question prompted by my use of the phrase, “Jump-start genuine dialogue.”
When I’m coaching a workplace team or a couple in the creation of genuine dialogue around change, conflict or key decisions to be made, I use these criteria for assessing the quality of dialogue:
- The outcome is not known in advance (pre-conceived outcomes are discouraged).
- You want to understand as much as you want to tell.
- You’re lead by your curiosity, not your certainty.
- You’re not avoiding differences or disagreement.
- All voices are equally valued.
- Compassion and empathy are welcomed alongside the valuing of objectivity.
- Assumptions are surfaced and examined non-judgmentally.
How do you know when you’re in genuine dialogue at work or home? What criteria or hallmarks would you add?