Making Dialogue Effective, Panel Discussion 4- Skills in Dialogue: Cultivating Effective Listening and Empathy

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Dialogue Society 402 Holloway Road, LONDON, N7 6PZ

Dr Jill Adam

Executive Director, Level Partnerships; Previously Head of the School of Education and Professional Development at Leeds Metropolitan University;

Dr Justine Huxley

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

Lisa Cumming

Programme for a Peaceful City, Bradford University Peace Studies Department

This discussion will bring together professionals of different backgrounds to explore the skills that are needed by participants and facilitators for dialogue to work. Discussion will consider how these skills can be acquired, encouraged and taught.

Questions to be considered:

  • What are the most important skills for intercultural dialogue?
  • How can people involved in intercultural dialogue (in a voluntary or a professional capacity) build on their skills?
  • Do young people in this country acquire the necessary skills for intercultural dialogue and understanding in the course of their general education?
  • What measures could increase general “dialogue literacy”?

About the Panel Discussion Series

A series of panel discussions examining the question of how to make intercultural dialogue work. Those working with intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the community or professional level face a range of challenges regarding its effectiveness. We are asked, or ask ourselves, such questions as:

  • Does what we do make or contribute to a tangible difference to society in any way?
  • Does our work, whether directly or otherwise, reach beyond the sympathetic to those whose attitudes and behaviour are an actual threat to peace and social cohesion?
  • Are the relationships that our work initiates across cultural or religious boundaries of a meaningful and lasting kind?
  • Is our work part of something broader that is capable of effecting change on a grand scale?

This series is intended to occasion focused and constructive discussion of such questions among a range of people concerned with relationships between different cultural, religious or social groups, in their professional lives or at the community level.

Findings and conclusions will be published. It is hoped that the series will be replicated at three independent UK branches of the Dialogue Society, allowing us to draw on a wider range of perspectives in collating findings.

Aims and Objectives

  • To encourage interprofessional dialogue, interaction and cooperation between people working on intercultural/ interreligious dialogue, peace and social cohesion.
  • To foster dialogue between people engaged with dialogue at the personal or community level, and those concerned with the same questions in a professional capacity.
  • To explore and clarify the questions of what effectiveness in dialogue is, and whether and how it can be measured.
  • To find a range of creative and practical answers to the question of how dialogue can be made effective by
    • identifying and promoting current best practice and
    • identifying and promoting promising future possibilities.
    • To share these answers among all participants of the series and more widely.

The Topics

  1. “Effectiveness” in Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: Can it be defined? How do we measure it?
  2. Effectiveness at the grassroots: seeking the personal and the genuine
  3. Effectiveness in dialogue for conflict transformation
  4. Skills in dialogue: cultivating effective listening and empathy
  5. Becoming a dialogue movement: what can dialogue learn from other movements?
  6. Preaching to the unconverted: how can dialogue reach the disengaged, the prejudiced and the hostile?

Guests are warmly invited to attend as many of the sessions as possible to contribute to an ongoing process of focused reflection over the course of the series.