What is Bohm's dialogue method?

When we talk about dialogue, we interpret it almost as the opposite of monologue (where someone talks to many, not with many). A dialogue is more about conversations between two or more individuals. Historically, people have talked in dialogue around the campfire, or in the village team on the square in the village.

The word dialogue comes from the Greek word "diálogos" where "dia" means through, "logos" means word or rather meaning. Socrates is said to have said: "Speak so that I may see you". Dialogue was born in ancient Greece and this is where the concepts of logos, ethos and pathos originated. The Socratic conversation, which was also called the art of childbirth, was based on the students being able to philosophize themselves by asking questions. Exploring is the purpose of dialogue.

A scientist who in modern times came to develop the dialogue was the physicist and philosopher David Bohm who in the 1960s had dialogues with colleagues, but also with the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. In later years, Bohm launched a conversation methodology, "Bohm dialogues", which came to inspire many in social contexts, in companies and organizations and in peace negotiations. One of the successors is the American William Isaacs, who in his book The Dialogue - The Art of Thinking Together gives concrete advice on how to create a good dialogue.

Bohm highlighted what happens when more people think together in a spirit that nothing is right or wrong. In conversations with Einstein, Bohm often experienced a strong energy and total presence, which had a positive effect on the atmosphere in the room. Bohm came to the conclusion that this perceived phenomenon was about active listening and allowing the thoughts to flow freely without any of them defending their position.

According to Bohm, dialogue contributes to a common consciousness and a cohesive culture. When we start sharing thoughts, we also share values ​​and develop a common intention. If everyone understands the same thing, we can work together. If we all see things differently and have different intentions, we can not do this. A dialogue means meaning that flows through people. The basic idea is to reflect and think together and wait to present your personal opinions. This requires training.

We are all trained to express our opinions, which can easily become a discussion about who is right or wrong. In the discussion, a polarization and a power struggle often arise, which should be completely avoided in the dialogue. Anyone who facilitates a group of people has a great opportunity to create interesting and meaningful meetings by having a dialogical approach.

Being a dialogue leader means that you initiate, lead and summarize. Your approach is to listen, respect, wait for what is said, and stay equal with everyone in the group.

An example of an introductory meeting topic could be: "We have gathered these two hours to have a dialogue about the concept of 'wisdom'. The purpose is that we should learn a dialogical approach and through it discover the value of dialogue. As a beginning, the concept "Wisdom" could be a good word for a dialogue, as it is important for our common commitment. Before starting a dialogue, it can be good to briefly explain the basic principles of ditto.

Questions and posts:

"When do you experience a wise decision?"

When everyone has had their say, you, as a dialogue leader, tell what makes sense to you. Then take a turn and ask the group:

"How can we understand the meaning of ..." (examples that have come up) The word, that is the thought, is free and remember that there is no right or wrong ".

Summarize what you have heard, turn to the group and let everyone reflect on the summary.

"What can we agree on? What is the common meaning of the concept of wisdom in our lives?"

"What could we include in our work group and in our daily life, to create a greater meaning in the group and for each of us?"

Final question:

"What have we learned through this dialogue?"

For more information https://www.canr.msu.edu/bsp/uploads/files/Reading_Resources/On_Dialogue.pdf

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