The Respectful Dialogue Club

There is an exciting new Oakmont club on the horizon! It is called the Respectful Dialogue Club. The purpose of this club is to explore and practice conversational techniques that create more respectful interactions with people who have contrasting viewpoints.

Why do we use the word “dialogue?” As contrasted with debate or similar terms, dialogue is all about listening to understand, to make meaning and to find common ground. It enlarges participant perspectives. It is not confrontational, never intended to prove someone else wrong. It does not shame participants to the point of dishonor.  Dialogue often leads to mutual discovery that breaks through conditioning, speculation and the hardness of preconceived ideas. It creates solutions even greater than that which we could come up with individually.

The founding members of this club will meet and plan the club’s activities. Club members will then self-organize into groups of 5 – 7 individuals who will engage in “living room conversations” (www.livingroomconversations.org). Such conversations will utilize proven tools used by experts in facilitation and conflict resolution. Topics covered could include important issues both political and personal, inside and outside Oakmont.

At this time, the club is in its forming stages. All residents are welcome and encouraged to join.

This is an invitation to get to know your neighbors while at the same time bridging the gap between contrasting beliefs and partisan affiliations. We’d love for you to join us!

If you’re interested, please contact Mary England at 707-528-6502 or via email at e.maryb@gmail.com.