Contemporary writers position ‘dialogue’ at the heart of change theory, but what do we mean by ‘dialogue’? The Tao of Dialogue explains through story what dialogue means, and how to leverage dialogic principles in managing relationships within the workplace.
Accessible and innovative, The Tao of Dialogue explains the basic principles of dialogue, defined as a way of thinking and reflecting together with others, through the story of Michael, the CEO of a company about to embark on a life-changing journey. In the first half of the book, he is introduced to the idea of dialogue by Hannah, an internal change practitioner working within the organisation. He is encouraged to engage in dialogue with those he seeks to influence, which requires him to examine his mindset and proactively make changes to the ways in which he is communicating with his team and the wider organisation. In the second half of the book Michael is assisted by Mark, an external consultant with expertise in dialogic team and organisational development, who helps him apply dialogic principles to leading his team. Engaging yet practical, each part concludes with a summary of the dialogue that has taken place and how the model can be used in the real world, as well as an overview of the journey of the organisation, team and individuals.
Emerging from dialogue between seven experienced, international coaches, The Tao of Dialogue will be of interest to coaches in practice and training, as well as business leaders, HR and L&D professionals and consultants. It explains in simple terms how to transform human relationships, both one-to-one and team/group. It will also appeal to academics and students of coaching, executive development, change management and leadership development.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part One: Michael and Hannah; Chapter 1: Contemplating change; Chapter 2: An introduction to dialogue; Chapter 3; How dialogue works; Chapter 4: Listening; Chapter 5: Listening again; Chapter 6: Voicing; Chapter 7: Reflecting; Part Two: Michael and Mark; Chapter 8: Mark; Chapter 9: Talking to the team; Chapter 10: Mark’s ‘plan’; Chapter 11: Mark prepares himself; Chapter 12: Setting the scene; Chapter 13: Check-in; Chapter 14: Container-building; Chapter 15: Revolt; Chapter 16: Perturbance; Chapter 17: Patterns; Chapter 18: Breakthrough; Chapter 19: Retrenchment; Chapter 20: Exiting the container; Part Three: Michael, Mark and Hannah; Chapter 21: Reflection; References; Index.
Paul Lawrence is a lecturer in coaching at the Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong) and the owner of the Centre for Coaching in Organisations.
Sarah Hill is co-owner of Dialogix Ltd, specialising in behavioural change intervention combining structural dynamics and generative dialogue.
Andreas Priestland is a behavioural scientist and the owner and director of the Learning Project Ltd, a niche consultancy focused on leadership education, and organisational learning and change.
Cecilia Forrestal and Monica Manning work with the Community Action Network (CAN), a social justice NGO based in Dublin, Ireland.
Floris Rommerts is a trainer and coach based in the Netherlands.
Isla Hyslop is an organisational development professional who has been working in the UK public sector for more than 20 years, mostly in the NHS.