Sharing, musing, reflecting...

Chantal’s Influence Tips 60: The Two D’s – which one do you use more?


Inside your conversations, ideas are born, decisions get made, minds are changed.

There are 2 distinct styles of conversation
(of course there are more but this is a useful way to think about it).
The first is Dialogue and the second is Debate.
Here are the differences:-
Dialogue is open. You come to it with no pre-conceived ideas or answers
Debate is where you’ve got a particular position or case which you argue for
Dialogue is a more creative style of conversation
Debate is a more decisive style of conversation
Dialogue is an appreciation for the unknown
Debate is a protection of what you already think you know
Dialogue is collaborative. It’s win/win. The focus is “what can we create together?”
Debate takes more of a win/lose position
Dialogue is about asking questions to learn and reveal something new
Debate is asking questions to prompt an answer that proves your point or validates your position
Perhaps it looks like I am favouring dialogue but I don’t. They both have their place and they can rub along nicely together in one conversation.
For example, it’s useful to have a point of view because it creates natural tension which can open up a useful dialogue. When negotiating, it’s important to take a position or have a clear outcome but you might also want to stay open to new ideas. It can also be helpful sometimes to leave your opinions at the door and be open to the unfolding potential of a conversation.
So I’m not advocating one or the other but you can consider;
1a) Do you have natural tendencies for one or the other? if you’re not sure, ask people who know you well!
b) Once you’ve identified this, what are the implications and impacts of these tendencies?
2 How easily do you move between these styles? check it out over the next week… you may want to exercise your flexibility.
3) How willing are you to let go of your own
 opinions or rules, to allow something new to emerge? 
Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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