Relationships are essential to life. It brings us together; forming family, friendships, the creation of organizations, cities, states, and countries. In the process of establishing relationships, we communicate—and this communication does much to bring us together. In fact, without communication, how would we come and be together? This paper is about the issue of AGREEMENT & DISAGREEMENT THAT EXIST BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND COUNTRIES.
The highest level of communication between two or many I call DIALOGUE. The best of dialogue I have titled, “GENUINE DIALOGUE.” At its root, DIALOGUE CALLS FOR RESPECTING THE OTHER, BEING PRESENT, LISTENING and UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS BEING SAID, AND ASKING QUESTIONS FOR CLARIFICATION TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE SPEAKER.
When this is achieved, the conditions as described above switch to the listener, who now becomes the speaker. Note that the process has nothing to do with agreement unless this is understood by the parties. Expecting agreement without asking for it upfront is a “quagmire.” Stating the need for agreement at the beginning of dialogue is the better choice but is still problematic. It may be an impossible request(?).
In today’s world, we see this played out in families and between dear friends, co-workers, associates, and certainly within organizations and nations. This is a difficulty that challenges the best of relationships, and I offer no easy answer. Religion, politics, child-rearing, and education are examples of issues that often bring conflict and even pain when and where people talk. It is why I mention the “kitchen table” where implantation of beliefs and conflict is most likely to take place. The problem is that expectations are buried in opinion and not fact.
During true dialogue, there is no leader and no follower for that moment. Clearly, that presents a challenge to most leaders accustomed to being in charge and those followers accustomed to acceding to the demands of the leader. To experience dialogue is rare for these reasons, and yet it is essential if people are to be “real” and “honest” with each other. So much is missed in our relationships when dialogue is avoided and monologue takes the stage.