朝邦文教基金會 CP Yen Foundation

推動對話力, 促進社會正向改變,朝向永續發展的城邦

01/2013: 公民軟實力 Citizen's Soft Power

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「對話力」--從幼稚園就該開始培養的公民軟實力

從2011年10月,朝邦基金會出版了「對話力-化衝突為合作的神奇力量」的中文版,接著11月邀請國際對話引導大師 Philip Thomas先生舉辦「對話力國際工作坊」。在閱讀「對話力-化衝突為合作的神奇力量」與參與工作坊後,開啟了我在「對話力」的學習與體驗旅程。

2012年有幸與朝邦基金會執行長Jorie到幾個大學院校與青年學子帶領工作坊,分享「對話力」。在這當中我也逐漸讓自己更「願意」心無它念的專注傾聽,更覺察的先懸掛自己的主見與假設,好似平日一般修煉。

但是「對話力」威力的呈現,就像一個人的價值觀,特別是在衝突、挑戰、情緒、選擇時,才會凸顯出它重要性。就像媒體喧騰一時,於立法院一罵成名的陳同學,即使我完全不認同他有角色(the floor) 在當時的場合發言,但是如果他當下選擇客觀有力的陳述主張,會讓人暫時忽略他當時的行為失當(misbehavior)。

「對話力」的四個能力--專注傾聽、懸掛假設、開放探詢與陳述主張中,專注傾聽與懸掛假設是內在看不到的思維,但是少了這兩個特質,顯現出來的開放探詢會變成負向質疑;客觀主張會變成批判指責。

在職場,具備「對話力」絕對提昇優質「領導力」。常會聽到少兩味的「我是實話直說」等等好意變惡意,甚至雙方吵起來的例子。曾經有一次辦活動過程,教室在先天不足後天失調下,我已盡最大努力了,但呈現出的狀況,讓自己對參與者也充滿歉意。有位朋友中場休息時便離開,在沒有「探詢」我曾做了什麼之下,便以「正義使者」身分;以自己的假設,對我數落了這次的瑕疵。我沒有怪他,更沒有因被誤會的回嗆。看著他,我終於知道,當時年少的我視為當然的「有話直說、盛氣凌人」印象,是排擠掉別人對我「能力」肯定的罪魁禍首。

2012年12月,文化部長龍應台邀請哈佛名師麥可桑德爾來台對談(媒體寫對話,但我認為是對談)。麥可提到青少年最早的公民教育通常發生在家庭與父母的晚餐桌上。真是「我無法有更多同意了」!

從上幼稚園開始,放學回家,與父母在晚餐桌上回顧在學校發生的趣事、或問題,當下,父母如果有足夠的對話力,不插嘴、不「立即指正」(怎麼可以這樣….、你為什麼不……等等,好像不說就失去父母教養的責任),而是探詢更多的事實、先放下大人的角度、鼓勵孩子說出他的想法?作法?必要時一起討論,於是那美好社會的公民教育就從此發生了!

但是台灣的社會好似已經習慣於急於表達,不聽別人。就算是聽,也是找碴的聽,好立即見縫插針的展現「反應快」的本事。每一個人、行業都像一塊塊拼圖,有突出、有凹陷,有優勢,也有需要支持的地方。就像在拼拼圖時,需要不停的傾聽、探詢。看到別人的價值;接受彼此的不足,然後找到最合適的契合點,彼此靠近支援,逐漸拼出美麗的全景。

「對話力」不會是公民社會和諧唯一的良方,但卻是非常有力的個人軟實力。讓越多人,從越年輕就具備這軟實力,就越快看到整個社會像是花團錦簇一般,每個人、每個組織都能(在適當的季/時節)盡情綻放,又共享美麗。 

- 韓世寧, ICF ACC 認證專業教練, 朝邦基金會董事, 國際教練聯盟( ICF )台灣總會(ICFTaiwan)秘書長

Dialogue: Cultivating Citizen’s Soft Power from Kindergarten up

In October 2011 the CP Yen Foundation translated the book “the Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict in to Cooperation”, and in November invited International Dialogue Practioner, Mr. Philip Thomas to lead a “Dialogic Change Workshop”. Reading the book and participating in the workshop have opened up my learning journey into experiencing dialogue.

In 2012 Jorie conducted workshops with a couple universities and shard with the young students the meaning of dialogue; as an assistant to the process I gradually became increasingly willing to listen without distraction and to sharpen my senses by lightly suspending my own opinions.

A person’s dialogue capacities are similar to one’s values - hard to see in daily trivial activities, yet they make a big difference in critical and conflict moments. For example, in 2012 a student from a well-known university cursed the Ministry of Education and became a notorious public figure in the media. Even though I don’t agree that the student should have been given the floor to speak, yet if he had spoken in a way demonstrating good dialogic skill, speaking objectively and powerfully, then I would have momentarily tolerated his misbehavior.  

To dialogue one needs four qualities: listening, suspending assumptions, inquiry and advocacy.  The first two are qualities of one’s internal mindset and are not directly visible, but if these two qualities are absent, then inquiry degrades into questioning and advocacy degrades into criticism and blaming.  

In the workplace, dialogue absolutely enhances the quality of leadership.  Recently, I held an event in a classroom space that was completely inadequate and I was full of apologies to the participants. During the intermission I saw a friend preparing to leave and without first inquiring how we can fix the problem, he began loudly criticizing the quality of the classroom. I didn’t argue with him, as I looked at him I wondered how someone so capable in other ways could be so offensive; then I suddenly realized that I used to be just like him, and I used to think myself so capable but yet others would avoid working with me because of my criticisms.  That’s how I realized the importance of dialogue skills to one’s leadership quality.

In December 2012 the Minister of Culture, Lung Ying Tai invited the well-known Harvard professor Dr. Michael Sandel to Taiwan for a discussion (the media wrote dialogue, but I think it’s a talk).  Michael mentioned that young people’s earliest civic education often happens in the family around the dinner table with their parents.  Really, I couldn’t agree with him more!  

Starting from kindergarten, coming home from school, reflecting with parents at the dinner table about what interesting things or problems happened at school, and if the parents have enough dialogue skills to not interrupt nor to immediately correct with “how could you…., why don’t you…”, as if failing to do so would be a dereliction of the parent’s responsibility to educate the child, or to inquire about more things, to suspend an adult’s perspective, to encourage the child to talk about his thoughts or actions, these are all essential to talk about, because that’s how a beautiful society’s civic education starts!

However, Taiwan society seems to be accustomed to eagerly expressing itself rather than listening to others.  Even listening is like listening for a fight or looking for opportunities for a quick response. In a workplace every person and occupation is like a puzzle piece, there’s strengths that stand out and there’s indented places needing support.  Like putting together a puzzle, one needs to be constantly listening, inquiring, seeing the value in others, accepting each other’s inadequacies, then finding the most appropriate fit, in order to gradually form a beautiful panorama.

Dialogue is not the only recipe for harmony in civil society, but it is a very powerful soft power.  Allowing more people, from ever younger ages to have this soft power will give them the ability to see that all of society is like a flower garden, every person and every organization can enjoy blooming and sharing in one another’s beauty.

- English Translation: Keli Yen 顏克莉; Chinese written by : Shih-ning Han 韓世寧, ICF-ACC, certified professional coach, CP Yen Foundation Board Director, and ICFTawain Secretary General. 

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