Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dialogue for Win/Win Outcomes Part 2

  1. Establish a foundation of mutuality – an atmosphere of unity, respect, and goodwill.
  2. Build a pool of shared understanding – a complete and full understanding of the situation from each person's point of view.
  3. Solve the problem and make agreements so that everyone wins.
Note that objective #3 cannot be achieved without first achieving objectives #1 and #2.  Objective #2 cannot be achieved without first achieving objective #1.

Dialogue is not always intended to meet all 3 of these objectives.  Sometimes, the purpose of dialogue is simply to establish mutuality.  For example, resentment has built up between 2 individuals which keeps them from working together effectively, so they need to establish unity, respect, and goodwill. 

On other occasions, the purpose of dialogue is to build a pool of shared understanding.  For example, representatives of the U.S. and Vietnam met on a number of occasions after the war to understand each other's decision process during the war, in order to learn the lessons necessary to prevent such tragedies in the future.

On still other occasions, the purpose of dialogue may be to solve a problem.  For example, a management team may need to decide how to allocate limited financial resources among all departments.

Until next time...


Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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