Final Reflection from October Webinar

In case you missed Tuesday's webinar, we wanted to share some final takeaways and tools that Brighid Dwyer, our fabulous moderator and DDNRC's Vice Chair, summarized at the end of the session.

"It's about the tools, right, that's, that's how we reframe that and I think that while oftentimes people walk away. Okay, I got five tools like I've gotten right here. I'm gonna pull it out and have to use this tool here. There's, it's much more complex than that right the way in which we engage in dialogue and is much more complex. We really have to think about preparation and preparation begins with self-care. We have to think about safety or physical or emotional safety, we have to think about self-love about how we're loving and caring for ourselves, how we're loving and caring for each other. We have to identify the situation that we're in and where we are, what we're going into-- are we going into a situation with students with faculty with staff mixed company with family?

Does the situation require mediation skills, does it require conflict de-escalation skills? Does it require that we separate people; does it require non-violence skills? Does it involve dialogic skills? Does it involve healing skills? Right, there are so many different sets of skills and we really have to think about that. Dialogue is a word that we've started using now as a blanket statement, as synonym for conversation. That's not necessarily the case right, dialogue and, you know, difficult dialogues, sustained dialogue intergroup dialogue or particular modes and methods and ways that we engage with one another. There are particular tools within those methods that we use. And so we have to define our situation we have to define what skills we need to use in order to engage. I think another piece that we haven't quite named, but I think it's important to call out is, is also practice, right. We can't engage in a conversation once and think we're going to be experts at it.

We have to practice. And so this is your first, if this is going to be your first engagement in a dialogue or conversation. You may need to call in for help and we need to know when to ask for help. That's a tool we can use as well. We can ask for help. We can ask our co-facilitator. In addition, we're thinking about strategy, so slow ourselves down. And even in slowing down, we sometimes realize what tools we need and we learn how to define the situation and we can understand what it is and what tools needed to move forward.

We can think about how we build common ground with one another. We know we're going to enter into a conversation that's going to be really challenging and we have to think about how we define the possibilities within that conversation. We have to think expansively. We have to again create that some radical imagination to think about something new, something different that we haven't thought about or imagined before.

I think we also need to have care with one another and ourselves throughout the conversation and we have to think about the post. What happens after the conversation? How are we wrapping it up? How are we caring for one another?

And with that, that ties into where we are now, as we are wrapping up our series and wrapping up our conversation today. This is not it.

That is a beautiful thing about dialogue is that there's an opportunity to come back to continue to engage to say, “Oops, I forgot that. Let's add more and to continue to build and grow together” and so along those lines, as I started, please engage with us, engage with the panelists engage with myself."


You can access the full recording of the webinar with captions here.

get updates