The Dialogue About Dialogue

Approximate Read Time: ~4 minutes

Image by RDNE Stock Project on Pexels

We know that sounds funny but here’s why we think it’s important to do this. The use of dialogue is a frequently used strategy in managing controversy and resolving conflicts. We’ve often promoted it in our work. However, we also know that dialogue is not easy and doesn’t always produce the results people hope for or expect. We are also aware that some people have not found dialogue useful at all and some find it useful only when it is tied to an agreement or joint action that can be taken together.If you have experience with dialogue (good, bad, or ugly), you are a perfect fit for this event. In The Dialogue About Dialogue (okay, we’ll reluctantly give into the acronym The DAD), we are creating a space and opportunity for you to reflect on your experience, share with others, and learn from them. Why are we offering The DAD? Because we can all get much better at dialogue and, at Tenacious Change, we believe in the wisdom of those with lived experience. For this reason, we are inviting anyone who has had experience with dialogue to join The DAD to share what they have learned and to learn from others.

  • The DAD is happening Wednesday, September 13, 2023, at 4:00 PM Eastern via Zoom. There is no cost…this is a free, complimentary event from Tenacious Change.
  • This is an interactive event. It is not a seminar or webinar, but a facilitated conversation using both small group, large group, and whiteboard exercises.
  • Participation will be virtual via Zoom, and to make for a more authentic engagement, we respectfully ask that participants join by audio and video using a computer and earbuds or headset (not by cellphone or tablet). Because we’ll be using a virtual whiteboard, you will need to be on a computer to fully participate.
  • Seats are limited and pre-registration by August 31 is required. Seating is on a Southwest Airlines basis (first in, first seated).
  • Registrants will need to do a small amount of prep work prior to the event, beginning on September 1. The prep work is to ensure participants have a common language and understanding of some key ideas related to dialogue. It won’t be heavy…you’ll be asked to watch one or two brief videos and read a couple of blog postings.
  • Agenda highlights: Introductions, agenda overview, small group conversations in Zoom rooms, large group conversation and debrief on Zoom whiteboard, and closing.
  • The DAD is scheduled to last 90 minutes. It may end early but it will not go over time. Participants need to plan to attend the full 90 minutes.
  • If you register, you also need to show up with a desire to listen, hear, learn, and speak without judgment or fear of judgment.
  • Registration is simple…just click on this link or on the button below and you’ll be taken to a secure registration form.

Throughout the month of August and early September, we’ll be using this space to highlight insights that emerged from Tom Klaus’ research on intractable conflict over sexuality education in U.S. public schools. There were four recommendations for those who act as leaders within organizations, and we’ll be featuring one each week starting with an introduction to the series next Wednesday, August 9th. Be sure to check in and read on, and, of course, share this blog with others you think would enjoy it or benefit from it.

Tenacious Change IS on Substack

We are still putting some test posts on Substack to get used to working with the site and we invite you to check them out at this link. Please know, though, that at this time we are only re-running recently past posts so we can get accustomed to posting there. We are continuing to learn the formatting but when we are fully ready to start publishing there, we’ll let you know!

Scheduling for Fall 2023 and Winter 2024

We are currently scheduling consultations, workshops, and training events for late summer and early Fall as well as for this upcoming Winter. Visit our website to learn more about everything we offer. You can even download and share this handout with your colleagues. Then schedule a time to talk to us.

Now Available!

Preparing for Controversy in the Fog of (Culture) War does not hold all the answers but it has some that will be helpful. It will help you understand:

  • the difference between a controversy and a conflict
  • the stages of conflict
  • the cycle of intractable conflict
  • the value and importance of Strategic Controversy Management
  • when to intervene so that a controversy does not become a conflict
  • how to slow or stop a controversy, even a conflict, when it occurs

Ninety-one percent (91%) of people completing the evaluation after the live April 2023 seminar told us they felt more confident in their ability to manage controversy as a result of participating in the seminar. Specifically, here’s what they told us how they benefited most from it:

  • Five big steps in controversy management.
  • The rules of civil conversation.
  • Understanding how controversy and conflict are different now from the 90’s and understanding where and how conflict can be deterred.
  • Learning about when more people are likely to “get on-board” with your issue. This helped me think about where my energy and efforts can be used more effectively.
  • Tom’s historical observations about the Culture War and how things have changed…or not changed.
  • The cycle of intractable conflict.

In addition to the video, there are downloadable PDF resources. All are available at no cost, though you will be asked to sign a guest book before accessing the video and downloads.

Click on the link below to see a brief trailer video and then access the full video and all resources.

What Controversy Could be Brewing In Your World?

sticks and pine cones near a coffee maker
Photo by Ron Lach on

Please follow this link (or click on the button below) to complete a brief Google form where you can tell us.

  • What controversies are emerging that you might be able to head off?
  • What controversies are you actually facing at this time?
  • Can you share a situation with us that we can turn into an anonymous “case study” and explore in an upcoming blog?
  • What specific questions do you have about getting prepared for controversy or managing controversy?

Remember, you can also access our video Preparing for Controversy inthe Fog of (Culture) War on our website and we also offer a day-long training event on managing controversy – on-site or online.

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