The art of dialogue


A written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more partners

Dialogue is “the embrace of different points of view — literally the art of thinking together” – (William Isaacs via

“Problems between managers and employees, citizens and elected officials, and nation and nation often stem from an inability to conduct a successful dialogue.” – (William Isaacs via

Dialogue requires a vocabulary, a common set of concepts and definitions. Polarization (i.e. identifying and defining the opposing camps of a controversial question) is actually not a sign of division but a necessary step before we can start dialogue.

Dialogue is not always useful. “It is less helpful (or necessary) for solving routine, or familiar or well-understood problems.” (William Isaacs in Accessing Genuine Dialogue, The Watercooler, July/August 2012).