The intellectual and emotional space created when participants suspend, develops an opportunity for the development of shared meaning. Bohm (1996) points to the search for shared meaning as an essential component of dialogue. Participants in dialogue search together while engaged in participatory consciousness. Isaacs points out the place in dialogue that searches for shared meaning: “… we seek to uncover a base of shared meaning that can greatly coordinate and align our actions with our values” (1999a, p19). Isaacs also points out that dialogue offers “a context from which many new agreements might come” (1999a, p19).

Fisher and Ury’s (1981) “principled negotiation” includes the strategy of inventing options for mutual gain seems to be related to the search for shared meaning.

The dialogic mode of communication creates a new and collective experience of finding meaning together. Because this is shared meaning, a mutual connection is made between participants while in dialogic communication.

Posted by John Bell on December 10, 2006
Tags: The Fifth Principle of Dialogue

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