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。
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）。
- 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.