Skip to content
Hardcover Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together Book

ISBN: 0385479999

ISBN13: 9780385479998

Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

Save $25.01!
List Price $30.00

2 Available

Book Overview

Dialogue provides practical guidelines for one of the essential elements of true partnership--learning how to talk together in honest and effective ways. Reveals how problems between managers and employees, and between companies or divisions within a larger corporation, stem from an inability to conduct a successful dialogue.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Dialogical Dissection

Isaacs? book is at once highly readable, pleasant, challenging, thorough, and dense. The author brings together theoretical works from physics, linguistics and psychology to assess modern communication problems and how, through dialogue, those problems can be overcome. He also uses many of his own experiences and case studies to show how dialogic approaches have helped resolve serious differences between groups in the private and public sectors. This book not only offers us the opportunity to reflect on our own mindsets and practices, it also provides useful frameworks and strategies for those compelled to help groups resolve differences. As someone seeking leadership positions in education, this book will always be kept close at hand.Isaacs? describes the four ?pathologies? of thought as abstraction, idolatry, certainty, and violence. When we engage in abstraction we separate the parts from the whole and treat them as if they are separate when, in fact, wholeness (interconnectivity and interrelatedness) is a condition of the parts. Idolatry is a problem ?of memory?. It is the acceptance of ?the false gods or images that we unquestionable accept to guide us in the way we operate, and which blind us to other possibilities?. (p.59) Our certainties limit our capacity to think and reflect. We can?t learn when we are certain. Violence refers to our tendency to assert and defend our certainties, our views of the world, at the expense of the thoughts of others. ?Thought that imposes or defends is violent. It applies forces to try to make someone different.? (p.68) What is most interesting about Isaacs? pathologies is that they call into question those habits and ways of thinking that we generally consider to be necessary for self-actualization. Perhaps too many of us have come to be consumed by these pathologies. Perhaps, when people have to work together to resolve dilemmas, these pathologies are at once magnified and amplified creating a context in which truths are subverted and humane change is ultimately averted.The challenge for individuals and groups is less to dispense with these pathologies than it is to recognize and control them. Here, dialogue serves a necessary social function. The problem is that, for whatever reason, dialogue (?a conversation with a center, not sides?, p.19) as a theory is not widely understood, and as a practice is not common to most relationships, public or private. For each pathology of thought Isaacs describes a countervailing principle of dialogue ? participation, unfolding, awareness, and coherence. Dialogue taps these principles as critical resources. They are no less necessary to self-actualization than our pathologies, but perhaps because individualism pervades the western consciousness, they are less apparent. Participation refers to the notion that we are a part of the world and the world is a part of us. Unfolding is ?the gradual process of learning to tell the truth?. (p.63) Awareness is the ability to su

Communications is so much more than words...

Dialogue; traced to its Greek roots is a flow of meaning, an ability to take many different issues and opinions to a table and create something completely new out of the process. Communication is the center of our culture as human beings, yet we rarely make time for true communication in our society today. As a person that feels as if there is something missing in the conversations I hold in my life and in my career I found this book to be very insightful. I gained an understanding of my frustrations, some skills to apply, and a look at the direction in which I want to go in the future. As it is a complex book that applies to every part of my life (and yours!) I have chosen to simply include a few of my favorite quotes."Respect also means honoring people's boundries to the point of protecting them. If you respect someone, you do not intrude. At the same time, if you respect someone, you do not withhold yourself or distance yourself from them. I have heard many people claim they were respecting someone by leaving them alone, when in fact they were simpley distancing themselves from something they did not want to deal with. When we respect someone, we accept that they have thinks to teach us."..."Treat the person next to you as a teacher. What is it that they have to teach you that you do not now know? Listening to them in this way, you discover things that might surprise you."..."Respect is, in this sense, looking for what is highest and best in a person and treating them as a mystery that you can never fully comprehend. They are a part of the whole, and, in a very particular sense, a part of us." - PP 114-117 "Every conversation has its own acoustics. Each one takes place in an environment that has both physical, or external, dimensions as well as internal, or mental and emotional, dimensions. There is, in other words, an invisible architecture to the container. Most such structures are made for discussion, for thinking alone. We have very few designed for thinking together, for dialogue." - P 247 This is my favorite quote in the entire book, I see it in my relationships with the world each and every day: "The Internet can be seen as the attempt of your literate and isolated culture to somehow return to community. People seem to imagine that if we are all digitally connected, then we would all be in touch, and the great malaise of the age - the isolation, pace, disconnection that many of us feel - would be allayed. But so far the digital revolution is giving us connection but not contact"..."one simple touch of a human hand could far exceed all the impact of all the digital libraries in the land." - PP 388-389

Dialogue vs. Discussion. Two-way vs. One-way.

A great read to help you understand what Socrates did on a continuous basis-true communication leading to indepth understanding. I got many Aha's from the book, but two major points that stand out are (1) democracy ended with the vote, and (2) in a discussion, if your not talking you are "reloading". The take-aways are that we in most cases are not focused on coming to closure and fully understanding an issue or problem. We hold our own views without listening to the facts or assumptions surrounding another individuals view. We don't go to the deeper levels of understanding. This leads to false assumptions being made-which in most cases leads to some type of conflict. Should be mandatory reading for anyone desiring to be a true leader!

Discover the Art of Thinking Together

This is the most powerful book that I've read in years. The depth of understanding on how to create powerful, meaningful conversations at work, home and in all relationships is here. We are in a society and environment where things are moving so fast that we have lost the patience and trust for carrying on meaningful conversations. Instead we have ping pong ball conversations that barely get below the surface to deep, common insight. Then we try to solve the problem without having agreement of what the problem is. Read this book and understand this lost and important art of dialogue, the art of thinking together.

Interactive Humanity

DialogueAccording to the subtitle, Isaacs provides "a pioneering approach to communicating in business and in life." This he does with insight and eloquence. There is a great need for what this book provides, especially now as organizations are (finally) beginning to appreciate the importance of supporting (indeed nourishing) the personal as well as the professional development of their "human capital" The word "dialogue" denotes conversation between two or more persons. Moreover, the original meaning of the word "conversation" is to turn around, to transform; later, the word's meaning evolved to "living, dwelling, and associating with others." Today, most of us think of conversation as "talk." Some of us think of it as a "lost art." Isaacs obviously has both words clearly in mind as he introduces his "pioneering approach." His purpose is to explain HOW effective dialogue, dialogue which is "about a shared inquiry, a way of thinking and reflecting together", can increase and enhance human dignity and understanding. How important is face-to-face communication? My own opinion is that it is more important now than ever before. However, again my opinion, the quality of face-to-face communication has rapidly deteriorated in this age of high-speed electronic "connectivity." Isaacs' book is organized into five "Parts": What Is Dialogue; Building Capacity for New Behavior (ie listening, respecting, suspending, and voicing); Predictive Intuition; Architecture of the Invisible; and Widening the Circle. several For me, one of the most important of Isaacs' themes is so obvious, so simple: Show your respect for others by listening carefully to what they say. Dialogue worthy of the name is based on mutual respect. Hence the importance of attitude. Dialogue worthy of the name requires mastery of certain skills which can be taught. Isaacs provides all manner of practical suggestions as to HOW (a) to establish the proper attitude within any organization and (b) to strengthen the specific skills needed to sustain that attitude. Near the end of his brilliant book, Isaacs observes: "Dialogue enables a `free flow of meaning,' which has the potential of transforming the power relationships among the people concerned. As this free flow emerges, it becomes quite apparent that no one person owns this flow and that no one can legislate it. People can learn to embody it, and in a sense serve it. This is perhaps the most significant shift possible in dialogue: that power is no longer the province of a person in a role, or any single individual, but at the level of alignment an individual or group has with Life itself." If the comments expressed in this brief excerpt speak to your own needs and/or the needs of your organization, you don't need my endorsement. You already know what to do: Buy the book.
Copyright © 2022 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured