What can you do if there is no actual conflict, but you do feel resistance, unclarity or dissatisfaction within the communication?
What is dialogue guidance?
Where there is cooperation, irritation and unease can arise. It is not always easy to address this, possibly because you fear being too angry and possibly causing more damage rather than resolving the issue, or because you think the other party will verbally outweigh you, leaving you no space to let you make your point. Perhaps you are be a manager sensing the team is not running smoothly; you want to break the tension without escalation.
In these cases, dialogue guidance is a good choice. Our task will be to explore the underlying issues and to create room for you to refresh the communication process, whether it is between two people, within a team or between several parties at once.
We will begin by investigating the reasons for your support request and your expectations and wishes for the preferred outcome. This can be done through an online intake, or through 1-on-1 intake meetings. Sometimes this step will not be necessary and we will be able to start with a first joint session straight away.
Following a brief introduction and investigation we will start a structured conversation method, allowing each participant to elaborate on their view on the issues causing the friction. As mediators/coaches, we have a number of techniques and exercises in store to help you reaching sincere, in depth communication with each other. Sometimes a game or a surprising intervention will help to reach this goal. Sometimes, a break from the group process for further 1-on-1 discussions may prove useful in finding the core issue. Everything is done with the aim of resolving the issues, learning from this process en identifying the most practical points of action for a successful future.
In our view, dialogue is the main tool for several issues.
When to use dialogue intervention?
There can be several reasons for a dialogue intervention. Dialogue, in our view, is the main tool for many issues, such as improvement of mutual cooperation, clarification of team goals and change of leadership style.
It is up to the involved parties to find solutions themselves.
The difference between mediation and dialogue guidance
A mediation starts with the signing of an elaborate mediation agreement through which the mediator and the parties involved submit to a number of rules. In dialogue guidance we do not sign such an agreement, but we expect that anyone requiring our involvement will do their utmost and participate actively. This is why the process of dialogue guidance is less formal, but also less regulated. Mediation may provide more stability or assurance, but the process is a different one. In dialogue guidance, we expect that:
In our role of mediators, we are neutral. We will not express any personal opinions and, while guiding the process, we will leave it up to the parties to come up with solutions. In dialogue guidance, however, our role is more flexible, and we may even be in the position to tell you exactly what our thoughts are, or to propose solutions without being asked. A great thing – for us just as well!
Confidentiality is an essential part of mediation. Obviously, as a dialogue guidance coaches we will not make anything public, but we may find it useful to tell a party involved in the process something we learned from another party, or that we inform all those involved at the start of a team meeting what we have learned from earlier individual conversations. We may even express our opinion to the person who requested the dialogue guidance. However, any specific request to keep something confidential will be respected at all times; we guarantee this.