"In dialogue, individuals gain insights that simply could not be achieved individually."

- Peter Senge

"Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and its people"

- Paulo Freire

The quality of our spaces

At our inaugural meeting on the 30th June 2021, we agreed ten qualities we wanted to be characteristic of the spaces we create for helpful and constructive dialogue. They will act as ground rules for our conversations to which we will hold ourselves mutually accountable moving forwards:

We commit to displaying these qualities in our spaces – to be:
 

  1. Respectful and non-judgemental – so no-one is inhibited by being further behind in their understanding than others. We all must be allowed to make mistakes if we are to learn. We are not here to point the finger.
     

  2. Allowed to own our ignorance - safe enough for people to be able to speak out, even if it is to display their ignorance, as a starting point from which to move on and learn.
     

  3. Careful - thinking before we speak, considerate in our contributions – not being careless and insensitive in our use of language, while not being afraid to make genuine mistakes and offending unintentionally.
     

  4. Personal - able to speak my truth - each sharing our own experiences and perspectives, because these are our reality, learning from experiences and perspectives different to mine.
     

  5. Emotional - holding back from rationalising away each other’s feelings or experiences.

    • To cry (it’s a tough topic!)

    • To laugh (it’s a tough topic so let’s not let it weigh us down too much)

    • To express anger, pain and fear (holding each other in difficult feelings, helping each other process those feelings).
       

  6. Sensitive to each other’s needs - building relationships first:

    • Don’t assume everyone has the courage to share.

    • Give everyone the time and space they need.

    • Some people need more time to be drawn out.
       

  7. Not wallowing in white guilt - even if guilt is an initial prompt to action.
     

  8. Accepting of each other if we stumble and don’t have fluent, well presented, words.
     

  9. Confidential - We must agree what can be shared and what must be kept in confidence, in each context, to encourage everyone to share at an appropriate level.
     

  10. Courageous – open to challenge and be challenged; courage to confront ourselves and others.

WA_square-brandmark.jpg