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29: TWO FRIENDS

Welcome to the 29th post in our Journey in Dialog. In the previous post as well as this post and the next post, I share what four friends have told me about our dialogical relationships.

HARRY is an attorney and a friend of many years. He has read some heavy theology and science including quantum theory, and we have dug into his readings and mine with enlightenment and joy. His contribution that follows tells our story.

“The question is whether true dialog is worth the effort? The answer is yes, because true dialog is transformational. Most conversations are shallow and do not reach the depth necessary to be qualified as dialog. For those who have truly participated in and understand dialog, good questions lead to deeper questions.

“The reason is additional questions require those who are communicating to be sure first that the meaning of the question is understood in order for the meaning of the answer to be understood.

“The thought processes for the additional questions to the initial question is the reason that dialog is transformational. The series of questions makes dialog participants consider a greater foundational meaning for the entire subject. This transforms the original question into something greater than what one initially intended.

“One of the reasons that I know this is true is because of my experience in dialoging with Irving Stubbs for over 40 years. During this time, we have regularly discussed important subjects and most times have utilized dialog to discuss the subjects deeply.

“As these events continued, so did our skills at asking questions and participating in dialog. This resulted in a process of delving deeper into the nature of the meaning of true and complete communication. The result opened our minds to more possibilities of a greater understanding of the meaning of the subject matter and the potential answers.

“The result for my part has been mind-expanding and an understanding of the richer fabrics of meaning and truth. The ‘aha’ moment occurs at the point when the consideration of another question opens one’s mind to a different picture or perspective of the subject matter. For my part it feels like another layer of my brain has been opened to a greater consciousness. One can sense that on such occasions, one grows into and becomes a newer and more whole (holier) Being.”

JACK was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a national corporation. He invited me to be his consultant in his mission to transform that corporation.

Before executive meetings, Jack and I would meet and sort out what was to be achieved and how. We had executive sessions in dialog to deal with heavy issues. Year-after-year in this mission together, barriers were dealt with and bridges built. I asked Jack to tell me how he thought dialog had helped his corporation. Here is his response.

“The dialog discipline greatly enhanced communications on strategic issues and growth opportunities. It engaged the leadership team in very positive and creative work sessions where everyone participated in an open fashion and where multiple aspects of a situation could be examined.

“Dialog enabled members to realize that often each participant actually had some segment of the best solution and collectively the final decision turned out to be the best possible course of action. Ascertaining the pertinent facts and potential alternatives is one of the best features and benefits of dialog. It also makes team members feel that their ideas are considered and that their input is important.

“Socrates and Jesus were no doubt the masters at asking and answering the serious questions of their time, i.e. dialog. Unfortunately, it is becoming a lost art in this era of text messages and sound byte technology.”

Jack, Harry, and I formed a ministry to help people discover God’s Truth through dialog. We bridged gaps, bonded, and built some things together.

© 2018 The Living Dialog™ Ministries

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