Two Trees shaped like heads talking to each other

Dialogue at Lawrence

At a time when face to face communication is dwindling and deeply listen to one another  without agenda is seem as a threat, Lawrence University has the privilege of gathering students, staff and faculty into dialogue with one another about topics that are relevant to the Lawrence community and our larger society.

"Dialogue is a process of genuine interaction through which human beings listen to each other deeply enough to be changed by what they learn. Each makes a serious effort to take other’s concerns into their own picture, even when disagreement persists. No participant gives up their identity, but each recognizes enough of the other’s valid human claims so that they will act differently toward the other.”--Dr. Harold Saunders, Founder of Sustained Dialogue Institute

 

What is Dialogue?

"Dialogue is a process of genuine interaction through which human beings listen to each other deeply enough to be changed by what they learn. Each makes a serious effort to take other’s concerns into their own picture, even when disagreement persists. No participant gives up their identity, but each recognizes enough of the other’s valid human claims so that they will act differently toward the other.”--Dr. Harold Saunders, Founder of Sustained Dialogue Institute

Although Discussion, Debate and Dialogue get used the same way in many contexts, in our Lawrence Dialogue Program we want to be careful to set Dialogue apart from discussion or debate. Below is a chart of different types of conversations that people can enter into, when thinking about topics that you would like to engage others around, ask yourself if dialogue is what you are looking for or would your topic be best served by discussion or debate. Keep in mind that some topics need more then one way to engage them, so maybe it needs both a discussion and a dialogue.

Discussion
Debate
Dialogue
Conceptual and/or conversational
Competitive
Collaborative, toward a sense of community understanding
Present ideas, often in "clean" or "sophisticated" way
Succeed or win, often by proving others' logic to be 'wrong'
Re-evaluate and acknowledge assumptions and biases
Share information, seek 'neutral' conclusions
Focus on 'right' and 'wrong' through evidence
Bring out areas of ambivalence
Seek answers and solutions
Look for weakness
Look for shared meanings
Give answers, often those in accordance with academic standards
Search for flaws in others' logic; critique their position
Discover collaborative meaning; reexamine and destabilize long held ideas
Listen, in order to find places of disagreement or to gather rational pieces of an argument
Listen, in order to form counterarguments
Listen without judgment and with a view to understand
Avoid areas of strong conflict and difference
Focus on conflict and difference as an advantage
Articulate areas of conflict and difference
Retain relationships
Disregard relationships
Build relationships
Avoid silence
Use silence to gain advantage
Honor silence

The Dialogue vs. Discussion table was adapted from: Differentiating Dialogue from Discussion: A Working Model (Kardin and Sevig, 1997) and Exploring the Differences Between Dialogue, Discussion, and Debate (Tanya Kachwaha, 2002, adapted from Huang Nissan, 1999).

 

Dialogues This Term

New dialogues with trained facilitators are happening in various settings on campus throughout each term. Recognizing what needs discussing is one of the the first steps in creating a resilient and compassionate campus environment and those interested in specific topics may find that their concerns are already being addressed.  Forums may be open, or private and specific topics or broad reaching themes can be addressed.  Facilitated dialogues that are open to the public can be found advertised on the LU calendar.  
 

Meet the Facilitators

Trained in Dialogue 101 with Celebrate Diversity:

Sterling Ambrosuis, Tim Albright, Gabriel Baker, Jason Bernheimer, Jaclyn Charais; Audrey Dalum, Deanna DonahoueAnn Ellsworth, Eli Ferrell, Jessica Hopkins, Amy Hutchings, Jakob Jochum-Fuchs, Danielle Joyner, Connie Kassor, Betsy Kowal, Kevin Lebeau, Michaela McElroy, Morgen Moraine, Shannon Newman, Emma Reading,  Andrew Sage, Tess Seering, Jenna Stone, Willie Sturgis, Bonny Sucherman, Isaac Wippich,

Trained on Dialogue 201 with Sustained Dialogue:

Tim Albright, Jason Bernheimer, Audrey Dalum,  Eli Ferrell, Connie Kassor, Betsy Kowal, Kevin Lebeau,  Morgen Moraine, Emma Reading,  Andrew Sage, Jenna Stone, Willie Sturgis,

Participated in past Trainings:

Carla Daughtry, Jackie Feldy, Shelby Johnson, Papo Morales, Sammy Torres, Lisha Zill

 

Dialogue Facilitation Training

There are three different ways to be trained in Dialogue:
Dialogue 101 Training: This training allows you to be a part of the Campus Dialogue Facilitators network. You will receive a free weekend of training by our local partners, Celebrate Diversity. You will also be a part of the Dialogue Facilitators group on campus who helps decide what we talk, when and how!


Dialogue 201: Training takes the concepts you’ve learned in Dialogue 101 and goes deeper. Trainers from the internationally known Sustained Dialogue network will train you in moderator facilitation. Here you will learn how to work with conflicts and intersections that arise during dialogue. How to facilitate dialogues when emotions are high and how to respond to dialogue about tense situations that arise on campus. You will also learn how to have dialogue over time, rather than a one-time dialogue. This level of training also allows you to facilitate some of the more challenging topics of dialogue that arise at Lawrence.


Group Training: Are you already a part of an LUCC Club or a Lawrence Community Group already holding discussions, but you want to go deeper? Would you to enhance you own ability to hold dialogues in your community? Then you or your club can join the Sustained Dialogue Group training. This is a shorter version of our dialogue facilitation training that will give you or your group the ability to facilitate conversations of your choosing.


For more information on how you or your group can get trained contact Terra Winston

 

What Dialogues Should We Have

Do you or your group have an idea for a Dialogue? Are you already planning a Dialogue and need Facilitators? Please send any ideas or requests to terra.r.winston@lawrence.edu.