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A Field Guide to Convening Dialogue

This lovely 8-page Field Guide to Convening Dialogue was written by Joanna Ashworth, M.Ed., Ed.D. of Simon Fraser University (2010) with funding from Imagine BC. Download a copy from www.sfu.ca/dialogue. (Specific link as of August 2010 is http://www.sfu.ca/dialogue/study+practice/files/dialogue_booklet2010.pdf).

From Joanna’s introduction…

This question-based guide is designed for anyone who plans to host a dialogue gathering—whether for a brief afternoon or an extended series of meetings over time.

After years of convening dialogues through SFU’s Dialogue Program I have learned that dialogue is a journey of inquiry that often produces surprising and inventive outcomes.

The experience seems to work best when thoughtful convenors take the time to attend to their plans with care. As hosts, our work is to create a safe space for deep listening and meaningful talking. It is both a responsibility and an honour to do so.

The questions in this guide are organized around four components — ones that seasoned gardeners will know are important:

1) Prepare 2) Plant 3) Cultivate 4) Harvest.

Keep these disarmingly simple ways in mind as you prepare the ground for fruitful talk and meaningful outcomes.

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