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8月份對話訊息【團隊對話中輪替的角色】August Dialogue Newsletter "Rotating Roles"

對話 DIALOGUE

彼得‧史托庫 (Peter Stoyko)

對話並不是隨意的閒聊、以自我利益為中心的交涉,也不是衝突滿滿的辯論。對話是一種坦白、彼此肯定的對談,希望能創造出新的東西。就如包姆(Bohm, 1996)所說, 對話是每個人將自己思考的過程讓別人知道,讓整個團體可以從一個挑戰的問題一起想出解決的方法。將大家的預設立場攤開,提出想法。以同理心和善意考慮每個人所貢獻的想法。用嚴謹的態度來測試。避免過度介入的引導。對話的開始,先談談我們該如何談,然後營造出安全的空間,讓每個人覺得受到歡迎。每一個人都扮演一個角色,但是在對話中,角色不斷替換。團體在不同的張力間找到平衡,也因此更聚焦。 這張圖說明各角色之間的動態。

動員者 Movers:

應該: 提出想法、訴求、論點。建立最初的對話結構。先表達暫時的立場,讓其他人可以開始回應。讓對話有點動力。補充空白的狀態。冒險。思考如何達到團體的目標。

不應: 用眼神逼意見不同的人屈服。用脅迫的手法。挾持討論的方向。單方面實施規則與限制。扮演如同會議主持人的角色。讓意見不同的人覺得自己很渺小。表現出自己是無所不知的專家。閃躲批判。

追隨者 Followers:

應該: 提供洞察、範例、證據來支援。提供建設性的資料。應有肯定時就必須給予肯定。尋找共同點與共識點。注入動力,給予鼓勵。提供技巧,用以強化其他人的想法。

不應: 因想要避免衝突或沒面子而隱藏在別人的意見背後。覺得應該恭維別人或因為 要表達忠誠而同意特定的看法。一直附庸風雅,迎合他人。以啦啦隊的方式選邊站。 放棄關鍵性的判斷。落於老套。

旁觀者 Bystanders:

應該: 尋求臨界距離。吸收並細心思考其他人帶來的貢獻。看到樹木也要看見森林。 如果有需要的話,要為討論重新設定架構。有時候也要調整方向。從其他領域和做法 帶入相關的洞察。請對方釐清觀點。

不應: 因為不同意而保持沉默。以為自己了不起而在旁觀望。自許為裁判。分心,胡 思亂想。把困難的都交給別人做。躲在安全地帶。不願成為一個共創團體的一份子, 不願負起責任。

反對者 Opposers:

應該: 質疑,提出疑問,仔細檢視想法、訴求與爭論點。提出相反的論點與不同的說 法。向掌權者說明真相。嘗試表達立場,引發雙方的討論。鼓勵他人以原則和證據來 輔佐自己的論點。

不應該: 不假思索地駁回他人的意見。反射性地堅持或反對。調侃或諷刺對方。假意 地讚美。用一些談話的小伎倆來混淆別人的思路。拒絕承認好的論點。以私心來操弄 對話的方向。

平衡動作 Balancing Acts:

擴散 Divergence:

需要用時間將批評放在一邊,透過腦力激盪或其他的做法來激發出想法。多元的背景、 經驗、利益可以讓各種的觀點被聽見。在找出該走的方向之前,對話可能會有點凌亂。 用立可貼來排列、重新排列大家的想法(或類似做法),可以幫助團體用別的方式來思考。

匯聚 Convergence: 

有了目標,讓對話可以聚焦,但是有時候調整方向也可以到達新的目標。創造有形的 東西,新的東西,就是最理想的目標類型。練習可以幫助大家將很多的想法整理出一 點頭緒。到最後,對話必須要收尾,而不是懸在那裡。必須避免假性或太快的共識。 大家可以承認彼此想法不同,但是可以在有共識的重點做整合。

詢問 Inquiry:

以人性化、開放的態度思考新的想法。積極地聆聽、試探性地提問讓思考更活化。好 奇心和追求真相的好學心,都會激發探索的精神,找出細節的不同。用數據化的證據 來測試想法。探索新的討論的方式,特別是從不同領域中探索,可以因此找到新的洞察。

倡導 Advocacy: 

應該有空間可以針對思考周密的論點或假設,來好好進行辯護。如果有時候需要扮演 「故意唱反調者」的角色,不要覺得有罪惡感。說明你為什麼如此想,你看的角度是 什麼。請謹記,立場都是暫時的,如果有更好的觀點,就應放棄原有的想法。自我意 識、慣用的習性,自以為是的盤算都應該事先檢討一下。

毀滅 Destructing: 

過時的理論與架構會隨著更有關連性的想法浮現而破裂。放棄老套的點子和表情。懷 舊和偏頗的態度本身就有很多的侷限。創意的衝突打破舊有的想法,創造新的。

建立 Constructing: 

光是毀滅,可能會引起批評。必須構思出新的方案,能夠展現於最後的對話中。如果 可以建立實際的東西,就能激勵大家聚焦、做出理智的選擇、運用所學。有形的成果 可以傳遞給其他人。

安全的空間 SAFE SPACES

一個「安全的空間」是一個讓人感到可以自在做自己、表達看法、不需要害怕負面後 果的空間和環境。妨礙誠懇、誠實互動的社會性或實體的障礙,都必須降到最少。針 對一項訴求,要以它的優缺點來考慮,而不是一個人的階級、職位或社會地位。 每一個人都受到尊重,也參與其中。因為安心、心理上感到安全,不會覺得小心翼翼、 尷尬、擔心自我暴露。

幾項大家同意的基本規則,為這自由發言的對話設定界線。這些規則不應該鼓勵過度 有禮貌的官方說詞或繁瑣的禮儀,也不應該刻意強調「不該提的敏感話題」。沒有所 謂的不可侵犯的題材。但是令人有被脅迫的肢體動作或語言,例如奚落他人或激烈質 問,都應該排除。團體對於咒罵或不入流語言的容忍度應該先說好。干擾、鄙視的肢 體語言、放縱的行為都不應鼓勵。

實體的空間佈置是經過特別設計的。家具不應該讓人有與社會脫節的感覺。器材(如 文具或美術用品)必須隨手可取,讓大家可以按照自己的喜好和風格表達想法。座位 的安排不應該呈現出有階級或正式角色的訊息。這也包括通訊設備。

參考文獻: 

大衛‧包姆 (David Bohm)文章《有關對話 (On Dialogue)》 (Routledge, 1996); 威廉‧伊 薩克 (William Isaacs),《深度匯談 Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together》 (Currency, 1999)。

免責聲明: 請注意,這是我個人對於坎特-伊薩克模式所做出的詮釋與說明, 論點可能不反映任何作者的觀點;有關「安全空間」與「平衡動作」的論述則是從更多的文獻所整理而成。www.smithysmithy.com (2010)

Dialogue

By Peter Stoyko

Dialogue is not idle chit-chat, self-interested negotiation, nor combative debate.  It is a candid, mutually rewarding conversation aimed at creating something new.  As Bohm (1996) puts it, dialogue involves everyone making their thinking process known to each other so that the group can think through a challenging problem together.  

Assumptions are brought into the open.  Opinions are voiced.  Everyone's contribution is considered with empathy and good faith.  Scrutiny is brought to bear.  Overbearing facilitation is avoided.  And it all begins by talking about how we talk and then creating a safe space in which everyone feels they belong.  Each person plays a role, with roles changing frequently throughout the conversation.  The group stays focused by striking a balance between several tensions.  This graphic describes these dynamics.

Movers

Should: Put forward ideas, claims and arguments.  Frame the conversation initially.  Take a tentative stand to give something to others to react to.  Give the conversation an impetus and momentum.  Fill a conversational vacuum.  Take a risk.  Think of ways to reach the group's goal.

Should Not: Brow-beat a perceived opponent into submission.  Use intimidation tactics.  Highjack the agenda.  Unilaterally impose rules and limits.  Act like the chair fo a meeting.  Make others feel small for not agreeing.  Claim to be the all-knowing expert.  Evade criticism.
 

Followers

Should: Add insights, examples, and evidence to the contributions of others.  Offer constructive qualifications.  Give credit where credit is due.  Look out for common ground and points of consensus.  Add momentum.  Offer encouragement.  Lend skills to enhance others' ideas.

Should Not: Hide behind the views of others to avoid conflict and prevent loss of face.  Feel obliged to flatter and agree out of a shallow sense of loyalty.  Perpetuate faddish and pandering thinking.  Take sides in a cheerleading way.  Abandon critical judgement.  Be trite.
 

Bystanders

Should: Seek critical distance.  Absorb and quietly ponder the contributions of others.  See the forest for the trees.  Reframe the discussion if need be.  Offer occasional course corrections.  Bring in relevant insights from other disciplines and areas of practice.  Ask for clarification.

Should Not: Be quiet because of disagreement.  Sit on the side-lines out of a smug sense of superiority.  Act as a referee.  Zone out and let thinking stray.  Let others do all of the hard work.  Take refuge in a personal comfort zone.  Refuse to be accountable as a member of a co-creating group.
 

Opposers

Should: Be skeptical.  Question.  Scrutinise ideas, claims and arguments.  Voice counter-arguments and alternative points of view.  Speak truth to power.  Take a tentative stand for the sake of argument.  Encourage others to back-up their views with principles and evidence.

Should Not: Dismiss others' views out of hand.  Wring hands and nay-say in knee-jerk fashion.  Mock and belittle.  Feign praise.  Use sneaky conversational gambits to derail another's train of thought.  Refuse to acknowledge merit.  Steer the conversation in a self-serving way.

Balancing Acts

Divergence

There's a time to suspend judgement and generate ideas through brain-storming and other exercises.  A diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and interests ensures that a variety of opinions are voiced.  The conversation may have to meander before finding its ultimate direction.  Arranging and rearranging ideas using sticky notes help a group perceive ideas differently.

Convergence

Goals give a conversation focus, yet occasional course-corrections may lead to new goals.  Creating something tangible and new is the best type of goal.  Exercises help funnel a mass of ideas into a tidier pile.  Ultimately, the conversation must reach closure, with no stray ideas left hanging.  Phoney and expedient consensus must be avoided.  People can agree to disagree yet still align on points of agreement.

Inquiry

New ideas are approached with humility and an open mind.  Active listening and probative questioning keep the mind engaged.  Curiosity and inquisitiveness drive discovery and the uncovering of nuance.  Ideas are tested against rigorous empirical evidence.  Exploring new avenues of inquiry, especially involving multiple disciplines, can produce big insights.

Advocacy

There's a place for the spirited defence of a well crafted argument or hypothesis.  Don't feel guilty for playing "devil's advocate" from time to time.  Explain where you're coming from; where your head is at.  Remember that a stance should be held tentatively and abandoned in favor of a better stance.  Egos, pet ideas, and self-centered agendas need to be checked at the door.

Destructing

Outmoded theories and frameworks are exploded as more relevant ideas are brought to the fore.  Forget hackneyed ideas and expressions. Nostalgic and hidebound attitudes are inherently limiting.  Creative conflict breaks-down old ideas while generating new ones.

Constructing

Just destroying can lead to cynicism.  New solutions need to be crafted.  Have something to show for the conversation in the end.  Building something practical encourages people to focus, make sensible choices, and apply lessons learned.  A tangible output can be passed along to others.
 

Safe Spaces

A "safe space" is a setting in which people feel free to be themselves and speak their minds without fear of adverse consequences. Social and physical barriers to honest and forthright interaction are minimised.  Claims are considered based on their merits, not on a person's rank, power or social status.  Everyone is respected and involved.  Wariness, awkwardness and worries about self-exposure give way to feelings of assurance and psychological safety.  

A few agreed upon ground rules set the boundaries of free-flowing discourse.  Rules shouldn't encourage overly polite diplomatic-speak and uptight etiquette.  Nor should they enshrine "no-go zones".  But physical and rhetorical intimidation, such as jeering and heckling are ruled out.  The group's threshold of tolerance for swearing and vulgarity is settled.  Interruptions, dismissive body language, and intemperance are discouraged.

The physical setting is designed-to-purpose.  Furniture shouldn't make people feel socially distant.  Equipment is freely available to enable people to express ideas according to personal preference and style.  Seating arrangements shouldn't send signals about formal roles and status.  Distractions are removed.  That includes communication gadgets.

Reference:

David Bohm, On Dialogue (Routledge, 1996); William Isaacs, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together (Currency, 1999).  

Disclaimer: note that these are interpretations and elaborations on the Kanter-Isaacs models and a particular idea may not reflect the views of either author; passages about "safe spaces" and "balancing acts" are personal reflections on the broader literature by www.smithysmithy.com (2010).

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