Dialogue Do’s and Don’ts

In SPoR we have developed many ‘tools’ to help Socialitie. Socialitie is the forming of meaningful social relationships that include: listening, hearing, caring, connecting and helping. One of the many tools we use in SPoR workshops is the Dialogue Do’s and Don’t Tool – just a simple little card that sits in the pocket and reminds of what works and doesn’t work in helping others tackle risk.

The basis of the tool is based on 40 years of extensive research into what works in assisting dialogue. Of course if you don’t want dialogue and think that lecturing and telling works in tackling risk – good luck.

What accompanies this tool is a full day of exploring the foundations of effective communication, the dynamics of framing, priming, pitching, anchoring and how to escape from the delusions of thinking that communication is about telling.

One of the fascinations of naivety in the risk industry is this absurd idea that if you tell someone a rule they will somehow understand it and know how to obey it (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-rules-ok/ ). Telling doesn’t create understanding indeed, all rules are interpreted and comprehension is not simple. It’s like producing a white card at your induction and telling someone you don’t need an induction because you know all about safety. We all know the white card is meaningless. The white card is not evidence of comprehension. The white card is just another useless waste of money created by Safety to delude someone that they have qualified in understanding nothing.

When we do the Introduction to SPoR Module (current cohort are midway through) we often start with the fundamentals of communication and Socialitie and without exception safety people say, ‘why was I not told this before?’ This is because learning is not about being taught but much more about being ‘caught’. The next free online module starts in late August (https://safetyrisk.net/international-intensive-spor-workshops-august-2019/). It is however very clear from the modules we have been running this year, safety people do not know how to dialogue or listen.

You can see the Dialogue Dos and Don’ts Tool at Figure One. Dialogue Dos and Figure Two. Dialogue Don’ts

Figure One. Dialogue Dos


Figure Two. Dialogue Don’ts


There is nothing magical in either of these tools just simple practical reminders of what works and doesn’t work if you are seeking to help others in tackling risk. The Dialogue Don’ts intentionally use the semiotic of male and female because of the ‘Mars and Venus Effect’. This is also covered in the online workshop.

Once one discovers how to dialogue and absorbs the Miracle of Dialogue , then one knows how to help people tackle risk.

Once the Miracle of Dialogue is caught it’s all about practice and this is what we do in SPoR. We learn the critical skills in a few sessions and then lots of practice and reflective practice. It takes lots of ‘practice’ to be ‘practical’.

You wouldn’t think that dialogue would be such a challenge but without fail every safety person who starts the course discovers just how much the industry indoctrinates them NOT to listen and NOT to Dialogue. There’s lots of unlearning to do.

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