Dialogue vs Debate
Dialogue is the understanding of myself and others.
Debate is the successful argument of my position over that of an opponent.
I listen openly and compassionately with the view that I want to understand.
I listen in order to counter what I hear, and am closed to new ideas.
I listen for strengths, so I can affirm and learn, and to hear other viewpoints.
I listen for weakness, so I can discount and devalue what I hear.
I speak for myself using my own experiences and understanding, and examine my own assumptions.
I speak based on my own assumptions about others’ experiences and motives, in an effort to prove that I am right.
I ask questions to increase understanding, and am willing to temporarily suspend my beliefs.
I ask questions in order to control the conversation, or to confuse: I look for ways to affirm my own beliefs or “win.”
I allow others to complete their communications.
I interrupt or change the subject.
I concentrate on others’ words, feelings, body language, and other modes of communication.
I focus on the point I want to make next.
I respect others’ experiences as true and valid for them, and want to work with others to come to new understandings.
I critique others’ experiences as distorted or invalid or wrong.
I respect the expression of feelings in myself and others.
I distrust the expression of feelings as manipulative or less than legitimate.
I honor silence.
I am anxious in silence or use it to gain advantage.
I look for ways to keep the conversation going, even in conflict.
I look for ways to end the conversation, when I am uncomfortable.
Excerpted from Interfaith Peacemaking Curriculum http://abrahamicfaithspeacemaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/For-One-Great-Peace-Study-Guide.pdf
Published by Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative http://abrahamicfaithspeacemaking.com
Reprinted with permission.