Strategy transnational e. V.
Dr. Heidemarie Wünsche Piétzka
Theaterstrasse 76
09111 Chemnitz/Germany

phone: +49 371 3346015
fax: +49 371 3346016

European Network of Dialogue Process Facilitators
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The Dialogue Process: Core Features

create a “container”

a space where it is safe to reveal our deep truths and inquire with the curiosity of a learner into the truths of others. (―container‖ derives from the Latin con tenere, meaning to hold together.)

Adopt the stance of a learner

this attitude enables us to be genuinely curious and to put aside our cultural conditioning to be ―knowers.‖ The Zen master Shunryu Suzuki had the following formulation: ―In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

Radical respect

I acknowledge the other person in their essential being as worthy of respect. Respect is more active than tolerance: to the degree I am able I attempt to see the world from the perspective of the other person.


I bring an openness for new ideas, other perspectives. I am open to questioning long held habits, assumptions and beliefs.

Speak from the heart

I speak that which truly engages me, that which is truly important to me. I do not speak in order to shine brilliantly, to theorize, or to make a speech. I am economical with words.

Listen deeply

I listen to the other person without reservation, with empathic openness that invites the other person to reveal in trust her unique world.

Slow down

in dialogue we have the opportunity to become aware of where our automatic, knee-jerk mental and emotional reactions come from. Without slowing down our communication process, such transforming awareness is scarcely possible.

Suspend assumptions and certainties

the differences in our beliefs, assumptions and interpretations provide the fuel for endless misunderstandings and conflicts. In dialogue we practice becoming aware of our assumptions and judgments and holding them lightly in ―suspension‖ so that we can observe and acknowledge them.

Practice a spirit of inquiry

I put aside my role as ―knower‖ and develop a genuine interest in that with which I am not yet familiar. I develop an attitude of curiosity, awareness and humility: ―I don’t know, and I am interested in learning.

Embrace the paradox of differences

I become increasingly able to live in the creative tension that allows that both ―this and ―that‖ can be true. I refrain from doing violence to a situation or a person by forcing it or her/him to conform to my picture of the world.

Observe the observer

I become a witnessing observer to my own listening and speaking, and in the process my fixed positions soften and transform. ― Observed thought change —David Bohm.


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