Dialogue: Small things that could make big difference

Dialogue: Small things that could make big difference

One of the godly gifts bestowed upon humanity is the ability to communicate with one another to convey ideas and feelings. One form of communication is negotiation. This method is used almost in every human interaction to resolve differences in areas, involving peace, diplomacy, brokerage, even familial and dyadic relationships. Alternatively, dialogues that take place in all of those areas fall under the idea of negotiation. Many complain that when they are involved in a dialogue with relatives, friends, or associates to resolve some kind of a difference, it gets exacerbated and affects their relationship. And they wonder over the reasons of this undesirable outcome.
Negotiation — or in this case dialogue — is divided into two major types. These are the disruptive and the integrative dialogues. The disruptive dialogue, which usually occurs between individuals who hadn’t previous encounter, each one perceive the other as an adversary, and their objective is to achieve results in the other side’s loss. In other words, the dialogue ends in win-loss, where all contriving tactics may be used.
Whereas the integrative dialogue is the opposite of disruptive dialogue with respect to assumptions and tactics. The integrative dialogue stresses on building and maintaining relationships. So, trust and cooperative posture are expected from both sides and as a result they would be involved in creative problem-solving ways to satisfy their wishes and interests.
The scope of differences among relatives and friends usually involves, for instance, ideas, techniques of doing things, travel plans, or buying new things. Hence, the dialogue should focus on understanding viewpoints rather than scoring points.
To do so, the tactics and styles that are often used in disruptive dialogue ought to be avoided because they don’t aim at achieving an understanding. Among those tactics are aggressively pursuing a specific set of terms to force the other party to have one alternative either to agree or otherwise (brinksmanship); pretending that a trivial issue as being so important (bogey); and other tactics, including deadlines, flinching and the likes. Instead, interlocutors should work to achieve a good understanding (agreement) that realizes equally their interests, i.e., achieving optimum gain rather than maximum gain.
With respect to style, a dialogue should facilitate between compromising, accommodating, and collaborating. While competitive and avoidance styles that are commonly used in disruptive dialogue should be avoided. Nonetheless, type of personality, emotions and non-verbal signs contribute to the success of a dialogue. Each individual may exhibit various styles in negotiating his/her differences with others according to his/her personality.
As relatives and friends are keen on maintaining their cordial relationships, soft dialogue is the most preferable style of negotiating their differences whatever they may be, instead of being hard, principled, or bad-faith interlocutor, which are typical tactics used by adversaries.
While positive emotions put one in a good mood to use cooperative methods that makes the interaction enjoyable, negative emotions, specifically anger, tend to draw one to use competitive methods that only makes the parties less cooperative, and eventually yield a contentious dialogue. Moreover, one should be aware of emotions shown by the partner, such as disappointment, sadness, pride, or anger. On the other hand, most important barriers to a fruitful dialogue could be a lack of trust, insufficient information, spoilers, gender differences and the place. So, each partner ought to fill the deficiencies in trust and information and pay attention to the other factors. Still, verbal communication only plays a minimal role in a successful dialogue as it constitutes 35 percent of the substance/message, and the non-verbal messages make up the rest of it (65 percent). Thus, interlocutors should work to stay relaxed and sincere in order to remain open, receptive and reciprocal. Discussing ideas, however, is another important area where most differences occur among relatives and friends etc. Ideas are point of views that are constantly changing as new information becomes available. So, no matter how solidly the idea was established, it does not represent the whole truth. Accordingly, one should use or acquire the virtue of listening to the other side’s point of view for the possibility that it may hold new valid information and one should be willing to accept this point of view and change the previously held views.
To sum it up, what lead to a functional dialogue between relatives and friends are trust, cooperation and sufficient and correct information.

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