The integrity dialog, as any conversation, is a form of life, lived through words, that enables anyone who participates to move to a new understanding of themselves and their community.
Integrity is the essence of everything successful. The dialog has many possibilities.
The first possibility: We stop talking to ourselves.
As long as we assume others are like us, have the same background and share the same values, we talk to them as though we were talking to someone like us.
In effect we end up talking to ourselves.
When we ask questions of judgment; we already know the answer and want to see if another knows the same answer.
In effect, we judge whether another knows what we know, not what they know.
The third possibility: We add value.
When people listen to one another, they hear of experiences, talents and skills and aspirations they do not have. These are valuable resources to you and all of us.
The myth of scarcity dominates dialog in some people. In this myth, people believe that whenever they speak, the gain is zero sum -either they gain something (image, rightness) or the other gains (knowledge, correction etc) but both can't gain at the same time.
When dialog partners begin to acknowledge each other’s resources, the myth of scarcity that shapes our responses begins to dissolve not because everyone knows everything but because no one knows it all.
The fourth possibility: We explore the unknown together.
Questions of inquiry are asked by someone who does not know the answer. Questions of inquiry promote dialog because they move one another closer to the unknown
Dialog is not only learning from each other but also learning more about some topic or things.
These are the unknowns which we can't learn if we don't engage in dialog and if we continue to talk to ourselves, judge others and operate from the myth of scarcity.
The fifth possibility: We put the mystery back into our lives.
The type of thinking that generates dialog does not remain bounded by what one has already thought but rather moves into what remains un- thought.
When people move to this stage, Pearce says, they move into a greater awareness and understanding of the unknown.
This embraces the mystery of our experience which Pearce defines as more than the present moment and the awareness of an open ended world.
The sixth possibility: We know ourselves;thereby, we know each other.
When we gain understanding and put the mystery back in our lives, we gain self knowledge.
We see ourselves reflected in the dialog process and others.
In effect, the dialog is our own mirror.
Want to learn more? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to speak to you about integrity and how it can help you and all of us.
Douglas Ross is an advocate for the promotion of integrity as a strategy for performance.
© 2011 All Rights Reserved, Douglas Ross, Principle Dynamics Consulting Inc.
Much of this is taken from the work of Barnett Pearce, Communications and the Human Condition as I learned in Marvin Brown's book Corporate Integrity