Academic Adventures

The Principles of Dialogue

The Principles of Dialogue

In Proakatemia every team has two training sessions per week. Each session takes four hours. The topics for the training sessions are decided and lead by the teampreneurs. This means that in the training session, the teampreneur introduces a topic, gives some theoretical information around it and then the team will have a dialogue together about the subject. In training sessions, the team sits in a circle form, so that everyone can see each other.

At the end of every training session, feedback is asked using the Motorola feedback tool. It is very important to give and receive feedback, because it helps to develop the training session even better. It is beneficial to have training sessions that in some sort help the team. If for example the team wants to learn about sales and build a project around it, it can be useful to have a training session around the subject. The form of the training session is unrestricted.

Dialogue plays an important part in the training sessions. In authentic dialogue there are no sides, no rights and no wrongs. It means that you are capable of changing your perception as the discussion emerges. In good dialogue an individual understands their own emotions. They are able to listen, wait, respect and speak honestly. The difference between discussion and dialogue by William Isaacs is that discussion aims at a conclusion whereas in dialogue, all the alternatives and the nature of the options are considered.

Based on William Isaacs, Dialogue (2001)

The picture of a diamond is based on a theory by Isaacs describing the principals of a successful dialogue.

Listening is probably be the most important factor in a dialogue. It can be seen as basis for all of the other principals. It takes practise to actually listen.

According to Isaacs: “by respecting someone, we accept that we can learn something from them”. Respect is about having the ability to accept the opposite viewpoint and being able to have a discussion around it. The respect towards the person speaking is shown as looking at them, asking questions and concentrating on listening.

By waiting you give the other team members time to gather their thoughts and speak.

Honest speech is needed in a dialogue. It requires courage to believe in your own opinions and voicing them, especially if it differs from others. The atmosphere has to be built with trust in order to have an honest dialogue.


Anna Vikman

Project Manager of Academic Adventures

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