Have you ever felt impatient? Full of wrath, not knowing how to calm down or how to relax? Letting off steam in a proper manner e.g. through regular physical activities is good for anyone ́s health, but if and when we do exercise wrath in malicious ways, we end up harming not only others around us but most of all ourselves. Do you agree?
Having the gift of the tongue may be helpful in some situations, but playing a smart aleck can sometimes turn against you. Therefore, patience and the ability of listening, truly attentive listening often brings one further and enhances the birth of a true dialogue.
Then, what is a dialogue? And how is it related to patience and wrath? Simple questions, non?
A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a class held by Shawn Spano, Ph.D., about communication and dialogue at SJSU in Silicon Valley. According to Spano, there are many different approaches to dialogue. As an example, he used a unique form of human communication relating it to the social construction theory.
“Communication is the process through which we collectively create our social worlds. Rather than see communication as a neutral vehicle for transmitting information from one person to another, social construction treats communication as a primary activity, one that not only reflects meaning but shapes it as well”.
Seen from this perspective, everything comprising our social worlds (emotions, personalities, relationships, beliefs, attitudes, identities etc.) are being created in patterns of communication.
Social construction in key words:
– Individuals co-construct their social worlds through communication processes
– Communication is a process of action, not only transmission of information
– To widen the boundaries of people’s social worlds, there is a need to create communication bridges in-between these.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ARGUMENT AND DIALOGUE:
In Argument we…:
- Try to win
- Compete for speaking time
- Speak for others
- Create a potentially threatening and uncomfortable environment
- Take sides with others
- Polarize ourselves from those with whom we disagree
- Feel unswerving commitment to a point of view
- Ask questions to make a point or put the other person down
- Make predictable statements
- Make simplistic statements
In dialogue, we…:
- Try to understand
- Value listening
- Speak from personal experience
- Create an atmosphere of safety
- Discover differences even among those with whom we agree
- Discover shared concerns between ourselves and others
- Discover our uncertainties as well as deeply held beliefs
- Ask questions out of true curiosity and the desire to know more
- Discover significant new things
- Explore the complexity of the issues being discussed
Once again: what has this got to do with patience and wrath?
Just about everything, since we all have the ability of constructing our social worlds through our means of communication. Communication and dialogue are at the core of every individual ́s and organization ́s success, but still, more often than not, undervalued.
Through the development of communication and dialogue we can all become successful at what we do, both in business and private.
For more information, feel free to contact me and to comment on my posts. I love being in dialogue with people.