Strategic Dialogue

Conversations that matter require a different way of engaging with one another. Beyond typical forms of discussion where ideas are debated back and forth until someone or some idea comes out the winner, dialogue is a form of conversation that surfaces the collective wisdom that exists among what may seem like contradicting points of view. Rather than debate differing views, in dialogue we seek to discover the “river of meaning” that connects diverse points of view. By listening for a larger pool of shared meaning, wiser both/and solutions are surfaced.

Dialogue deepens and opens the conversation by emphasizing inquiry over advocacy, surfacing assumptions and judgments that block shared understanding, listening for the greater perspective that transcends individual points of view, and reflecting to surface greater insight and possibilities.  As a personal or group practice, dialogue deepens relationships, reduces conflict, and leads to wise action.

Strategic Dialogues are conversations that matter for a thriving world. Whether small or large scale, Participatory Leaders use Strategic Dialogue to bring together diverse stakeholders from across departments, disciplines, sectors and/or socio-economic divides to address common challenges and create Collaborative Innovations that can lead to greater collective impact.


Dialogue is not just talking with one another. More than speaking, it is a special way of listening to one another – listening without resistance…it is listening from a stand of being willing to be influenced.  – Sarita Chawla


Evolution and conversation are close cousins. 
Both are “process” — and they embody each other.
 Evolution is the ongoing process of change. 
If we want to consciously and intentionally change our social systems, we need to talk together about it. 
The more inclusive, wise, and productive our 
conversations are, the more powerful and positive the changes will be…Conversation is our way of being in process and evolving together. 
Given the many crises that are emerging today, high quality conversation is an essential evolutionary force.  – Tom Atlee