Pausing: Pausing before responding or asking a question allows time for thinking and enhances dialogue, discussion and decision making.
Paraphrasing: Using a paraphrase starter that is comfortable for you:
So... or As you are... or Youre thinking... and following the starter with a paraphrase assists members of the group to hear and understand each other as they formulate ideas.
Probing: Using gentle, open-ended probes or inquires such as Please say more... or I am curious about... or Id like to hear more about... or Then, are you saying... increases the clarity and precision of the groups thinking.
Putting ideas on the table: Ideas are the heart of a meaningful dialogue. Label the intention of your comments. For example, you might say Here is one idea... or One thought I have is... or Here is a possible approach...
Paying attention to self and others: Meaningful dialogue is facilitated when each group member is conscious of self and others and is aware of not only what s/he is saying, but how it is said and how others are responding. This includes paying attention to learning styles when planning for, facilitating, and participating in group meetings. Responding to others in their own language forms is one manifestation of this norm.
Presuming positive presuppositions: Assuming that others intentions are positive promotes and facilitates meaningful dialogue and eliminates unintentional put-downs. Using positive presuppositions in your speech is one manifestation of this norm.
Pursuing a balance between advocacy and inquiry: Pursuing and maintaining a balance between advocating a position and inquiring about ones own and others positions assists the group to become a learning organization.
developed by Laura Lipton and Bruce Welman