Engage in dialogue, not debate

Written by Stuart Haden on November 17, 2021

In Paulo Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed he talks about dialogue. Where we name the world together. A wonderful mantra for coaching, leadership and life. But this got me thinking about other forms of conversations. Perhaps less useful, or maybe just a right of passage. If we know where it ends, then we need to know where it starts. And where it might get stuck.

  • Dialogue – not just a conversation between two people. It’s also an attempt to name the world together. The beginners mind, with questions at large.
  • Discourse – presenting with authority. An address, extended conversation, key note.
  • Discussion – an exchange of views. After you. No after you. Think carefully.
  • Debate – an argument of sorts, but not always sorted out. Advance, for and against. Propose and oppose. Pros and cons.