Debate and dialogue

We confuse the two all the time.

Debates are trying to leverage the knowledge we have and convince the other party to see what we see.

Dialogues, on the other hand, are explaining why we see things as they are.

Debates are tribal. They are about exercising status. Some debates use tactics like talking over someone or excessive handshakes. Debates take place in an arena. They use facts to combat.

Dialogues require empathy, understanding, resisting the need to push your point across. Dialogues are about exploring. Reevaluating positions to change our minds. When you combine your light and knowledge with mine, the light in the room grows brighter.

Every debate and dialogue must have an axiom, an assumption to move forward. The problem is that most of our assumptions are wrong.

Past performance means nothing for the future.

The bottom line: It isn’t difficult to find the answers anymore. (Thank you Google.) The challenge is finding the right questions.