It is difficult to have an open dialogue when we are wrapped up in a controversial issue. But even when we don’t agree on the issue, by agreeing to a few basic principles we can come together on common ground for a meaningful dialogue.
Our Common Ground
Ten Principles for an Open Dialogue
- Agreement is not a prerequisite for respect.
- We each walk our own path to come to common ground.
- We are all at once both broken & brilliant.
- Compassion for our brokenness brings us to common ground.
Passion for our brilliance brings us to higher ground.
- Every single person matters.
- No one of us can see the entire picture. It is only by our collective perspectives that we can begin to see and understand.
- I cannot change you.
- I can only inform and influence. For that to happen there must be an open door.
- I don’t win by defeating you.
- No one becomes more from someone else becoming less. We are in this together.
- Do not speak from anger, speak from what makes you angry.
- In your words and actions reflect who you are and respect who they are.
- There is no contradiction in facts.
- If contradiction exists it is in our understanding of the facts.
- Selective facts are not facts.
- A fact is a thread woven into the overall story of our world. To pull out a single thread only weakens the fabric.
- The end goal is not to find an answer, it is to deepen understanding.
- When together we gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand then each can make better choices for the good of all.
- On the path forward sometimes I will lead, sometimes I will follow, always I will serve.
- It is service that keeps us together. If we have not come to a place where we can serve each other, then we must ask a different question and begin again.