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Dynamic Dialogue - Y2K Roles
by Nancy Margulies 2/5/99
Dynamic dialogue was developed by Tom Daly & Mitch Saunders. The process
can be modified to use with your local Y2K community group or work place.
Dynamic Dialogue enables groups to explore the range of emotional responses
that are possible in response to an issue such as Y2K. Seated around 6-8
empty chairs, the group is invited to explore each response or position
by enacting it. Individuals take roles representing these differing options
which may be expressed very personally or as gross stereotypes. When the
position becomes clear, a name is given such as "denial" or "
survivalist" - "fear" or "others will fix it".
Communication can take various styles: one person talking at a time, many
people talking at once, emotional, sitting back in silence. The divergent
perspectives displayed and articulated do not have to be the beliefs of
those enacting them. The goal at this stage is to name and express each
The names are written and taped to the chairs.
Noticing what happens when parts or roles are at odds may be the next step.
At this point the center circle of chairs are left empty, each labeled with
a label written on paper still taped to it. Participants can then consider
which "chairs" they currently occupy and then move into those
chairs to express their own feelings. People usually discover a range of
feelings they can identify.
From this point a discussion among all participants or in small groups can
focus on what possibilities they can identify or any other question that
leads to next steps.
This kind of shared, active inquiry tends to result in participants recognizing
a sense of community feeling or momentary completion, a new awareness, or
ideas for a next step. Further conversation, in a less experiential mode,
often follows, leading to deeper levels of engagement and exploration.
Dynamic Dialogue helps us step into the paradoxes that we all live, and
claim the powers of both sides. It makes the positions clearer and helps
a group move into a discussion in which they don't polarize on issues or
hide feelings, but move ahead to share possibilities and develop next steps.