Peacebuilding - Getting Better at Difficult Dialogue
Wherever we are - family, work, community action groups - conflicts arise that give us opportunities to get better at having difficult dialogues. Here are some pointers to help see the conflicts we face as opportunities for learning that enrich our lives and our peacebuilding work. In URI, we believe in learning to confront issues with mutual respect and to solve problems collaboratively. It can be a lifelong process!
Difficult Dialogue Encourages:
- SPEAKING for oneself, respectfully and from personal experience
- LISTENING for what one wants to understand better vs. for what one wants to debate
- REFLECTING on one’s own experiences and perspectives
- INQUIRY into the experiences and perspective of others
From Victor Kazanjian’s Workshop Sarajevo September 2018
Principles of Conversation
- Listen with all of your attention
- Suspend Certainty – don’t let what you know get the best of you
- Hold the Space for Difference – be aware of our judgments. Be curious
- Slow Down the Inquiry - let there be spaces between the speakers
- Speak from Your Own Experience – speak your truth
There is No Them, There is Just Us
The very first skill that we need to learn in order to handle our conflicts differently is a very simple one: Are we going to engage in the conflict and behave badly, or are we going to try to stop and figure out what's actually going on here?
It is natural for people to want to avoid conversation (with people they have a conflict with) because they have, in fact, betrayed our trust somehow. Because they have not met our expectation, because we don’t know any longer who they are, or believe they don’t know who we are, and therefore we shut ourselves down inside.
From “There is No Them, There is Just Us”, author Ken Cloake
About this series:
Each year, hundreds of URI Cooperation Circles participate in the International Day of Peace (IDP). As a global community, we put organized global spirit and energy into action! Here are some beloved ideas and inspirations for peacebuilding. You can expect two issues of this series each week until September 21. Hope you love them too and find them useful!
See more posts in this series for more ideas about how to celebrate the International Day of Peace.
May Peace Prevail,