A dynamic new system for fostering effective communications within groups, Dialogue breaks down barriers, creates partnerships, and helps team members achieve optimal results. In this book, managers learn how to use the full range of Dialogue methods, including its four fundamental techniques: suspension of judgment, listening, identification of assumptions, and inquiring/reflection.

The Art & Practice of Dialogue

The Art & Practice of Dialogue is an audio series that has been remastered from audio cassettes produced in the mid 1990s. It is a series of conversations between Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard, co-authors of Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conver-sation, Wiley & Sons, 1998 and compliments their book.

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Creating New Visions for Our Shared World

From a dialogic perspective, Richard Heinberg’s new book:  Power:  Limits and Prospects for Human Survival is a must read. Heinberg is the Senior Fellow-in-Residence at the Post Carbon Institute and has written 14 books on the subject of fossil fuels and their impact.

One of the books most important points is building horizontal power in contrast to vertical power.   Horizontal power is lateral and depends on strong relationships not necessarily based on a chain-of-command structure.   Horizontal power is communal in nature and depends on building trustful, sustaining relationships that are collaborative, respectiveful, and alive with generative potential, etc. These are all in line with the worldview expressed in Bohm-inspired Dialogue (A form of dialogue based on the work of the late Daivd Bohm, a quantum physicist turned philosopher (1917 – 1992))

Vertical power depends on a dominator or colonizing, might-makes-right ethic.  It doesn’t need the qualities that help horizontal power thrive, those that create strong lateral bonds between people and that better ensure quick adaptive action – especially those we will increasingly be facing in quickly changing local environmental conditions.  Dialogic power can enhance the buildup of this kind of horizontal power.   It can lead to a show down with out-of-control, destructive vertical power.  With enough horizontal power we can tell the king he has no clothes.  By inquiring into a new visions for our future, we can support the voices that stand up to dominator power that are keeping us on our current environmental death march.

Another point from Heinberg’s work is that we can’t count on technology alone to save us from the terrors of climate change.  Human’s tool-making ability has been our species success factor in conquering the world.  Technology alone will not get us off of planetary destruction.  All of the renewable technology we might build will not be enough to sustain our present life styles.  But by dialoging with others on how to live with less dependence on fossil fuels, we might find ourselves living in simpler, and happier ways. It doesn’t mean going back to cave days, but it might mean inventing (dialoguing about) new ways of living with others that get our needs met, but differently. 

This is where Dialogue’s generativity will be most useful.  In Dialogue we look for the in between, the ideas that can lead us forward to what might be better for the whole.  What does living in the moment look like that is a more coherent way of organizing our lives together?  We need to be talking about this at all levels of society.  Everywhere with everyone.  We can’t make this movement down the birth canal without everyone being onboard. 

Imagine Dialogue circles forming neighborhood by neighborhood with conversations focused on how we can share resources in times of emergencies.  Imagine leaders of climate justice groups and indigenous tribes forming Dialogue circles with each other.  Imagine new government entities forming through Dialogue that place clear limits on fossil-fuel based technologies.  Imagine groups of such leaders inquiring into and unfolding alternative life-style and governance patterns that are necessary to protect and sustain life on our finite planet.  Bohm-inspired Dialogue and the world it can engender just may save our lives and the future generations to come.

We are leaving a civilization based on vertical power or dominion over others to one that has not been fully described.  Building horizontal power will help us develop the new visions needed for collective life in the future.  Dialogic power can help us build the shared meanings that will be required for us to step into this new, sustainable, global civilization. 

Thelma and Louise held hands as they glided off the cliff.  We need to learn how to hold hands and forge the bonds that will help to unfold new ways of being together. 

As David Bohm was most famously known for saying:  A change of meaning is a change of being.  We clearly need new meanings right now. 

Find a Dialogue circle to join or form your own.  Join the conversations we need to build our future.

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Dialogue Transforms Our Collective Culture

News and information on Dialogue is incredibly urgent given the political and ecological disasters happening in our world. When we think differently, we choose and act differently, and become capable of creating the transformation we strive for.

As a pioneer Dialogue advocate and co-author with Glenna Gerard of Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation, I believe now is the moment for action.

We are both excited to share our new virtual workshop, The Foundational History and Skills of Dialogue, which begins on October 29th. And our advanced follow-on workshop, Design, Applications, and Facilitation of Bohm-inspired Dialogue coming in 2022.

This is an opportunity to learn the core skills of Dialogue which are helpful to much of the work that we do in the world.

I hope you’ll join us!

Best,
Linda Ellinor
707-217-6675


Foundational History and Skills of Dialogue

October 29 – December 11, 2021

In this 8-session online workshop participants will learn how to participate in and introduce Dialogue into diverse settings. This is an experiential course, with time set aside to integrate the skills and guides through multiple practice Dialogue sessions.

We’ll be offering an advanced program on the design, applications and facilitation of Dialogue in early 2022 that builds on this foundational course.

View Course Details


The Role of Dialogue in Modern Times

It seems like everywhere I look, from the increasing violence on the streets in California and Oregon to a recent NYTimes article, so little has actually changed in terms of resolving our global climate change problem. What are we leaving behind for future generations . . .

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VA Dept. of Corrections finds Culture Transformation through Dialogue

Watch this presentation given at the Organization Development Network’s (ODN) annual conference in June on how the Virginia Dept. of Corrections (VADOC) implemented Bohm-inspired Dialogue throughout its 13,000 member staff and completely transformed its culture.


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Dialogue for a Better World

This month’s full blue Aquarius moon is staring me in the face as I sit down to write my most recent thoughts about Bohm’s Dialogue. It seems like everywhere I look from the increasing violence on the streets in California and Oregon, to a recent NYTimes article that shows how little has actually changed in terms of resolving our global climate change problem leaving future generations with a planet that won’t be what it has been despite the work of activists such as Greta Thunberg. And then there is a potential for renewed nuclear arms races I keep hearing about.

David Bohm was a deep thinker and wasn’t content with how the quantum physics community was mainly using mathematics in conceptualizing how the smallest particles of life contributed to an understanding of reality. He brought a much larger and foundational understanding of the nature of reality by synthesing his understanding of quantum mechanics with philosophy, social psychology, eastern spiritual traditions, native American thought and language structure and so much more.

His proposal of Dialogue rests on this larger framework and the new worldview it represents placing consciousness at the root of all that is rather than matter. It offers us a way out of the more limited Newtonian/Cartesian one we are still living within and that is causing so many of our modern-day issues.  The neo-liberal economic system, for instance, spawned from the thinking that places matter at the center of life rather than the consciousness which created it, is depleting the natural resources we depend upon for life and is bringing us a 6th species extinction.  

According to last week’s latest UN Report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

it looks like we have only 9 years to turn this situation around before we hit a point of no return with runaway climate and other disasters. 

We all see it happening. Just turn on the nightly news: Haiti, the US Northeast, and Mexico all experienced unrelenting hurricanes and tropical flooding; Athens, unrelenting heat waves and fires; Northern California, unending forest fires; droughts are a problem in the Southwest and I could go on. Is this the future we want?

Rupert Spira’s 2017 book “The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter” clearly and simply states that which Bohm intuited so well: that we can’t get to the root problem of what isn’t working in our world until we come to the realization that it is consciousness and not matter that is fundamental to our planet’s evolution.

From my perspective, this was Bohm’s most important contribution to our world. He spent over 20 years in dialogue with Krishnamurti on this subject – bridging his understandings from his work with quantum physics together with Krishnamurti’s understanding of how consciousness creates reality. And, it was with his encounter with Patrict de Mare, a social psychologist, that put him on his path to Dialogue. Bohm merged his understanding of our radical interconnectedness with de Mare’s understanding of how culture (or collective consciousness) creates and recreates our world without us noticing how it is doing so. Bohm, Krishnamuti, and de Mare saw that if we leave our world view and shared values unexamined, we will not get to the root cause of our global problems, nor will we be able to create a coherent world that works for all.

I engaged for several years in the Tucson area as a climate activist, thinking I could use my facilitation skills and organizational know how to help slow down runaway climate and environmental problems. Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything” (2014) was my catalyst.

Though I feel the work I did was helpful, I decided to return to consciousness work because it was clear that our problems are rooted more upstream than was the focus of the local sustainability problems I was then pursuing.

What if we could all be connected through interlocking Dialogue circles and be consistently unfolding our shared future in ways that are coherent and adaptive to changing conditions? Today with zoom and other digital technologies, this is becoming more and more possible. I now am in Dialogue groups that include people from South Africa to South America, Canada and Europe. This was never possible before without spending time and money to travel. What if we were consistently engaging with each other in inclusive, nurturing ways looking together at how to create a world that works for all? What if we made a commitment to learn and live-in ways that take good care of our shared natural environment that would ensure a planet worth living on for the future generations to come?

That is my current prayer and hope and why I have returned to my work with Bohm-inspired Dialogue.

Please keep in touch through my periodical newsletter. Click here to send me your thoughts and what you are experiencing in your own work with Dialogue. If you are in a Dialogue group and are looking for others to join with you, or if you are wanting to join a Dialogue group, please click here.   This is how we change the world…sharing together in Dialogue one conversation at a time.

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Organization Development Network 2021 Conference: Dialogue as a Cultural Change Intervention

Linda presented a session on June 3rd, 2021 with two colleagues on how the culture was changed at the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) using Dialogue. Harold Clarke, the Director, tells his story of how he transformed a very fragmented culture of VADOC into a healing environment for staff and the 30,00 inmate population they house. It is a true, break-through story for the profession of organization development combining visionary leadership with Bohm-inspired Dialogue to sustain and integrate the vision – becoming embedded into the culture.