Easy Ways to Sustain the Dialogue Skills
I have been a member of the Generation Global Community since I was in grade 8th and have been learning about the skills required to become a global citizen through their gamified platform for young people, the Ultimate Dialogue Adventure (UDA). After completing the UDA, I seldom found opportunities in my daily life to discuss topics of global relevance and sustain the skills of dialogue.
What I used to experience in my everyday life was not a dialogue, but more of a debate or discussion where the purpose was to find solutions to a problem. To ensure I do not leave the skills I have learned, I started searching for ways to sustain the core skills of dialogue.
Here’s how global skills helped me to learn about the world and connect with others in my everyday life:
I started listening to good content over the internet, like iconic speeches, people sharing their thoughts on any topic, debates, discussion forums, conferences, and so on, with an open-ended motive and context. I also started writing down key points learned during the discussion. This exercise allowed me to apply my critical thinking and active listening skills learned from the Generation Global programme.
Communication and Sharing
Communication with oneself is the best way to practice the skills of dialogue. It helps to nurture. I used to choose random topics and discuss my point of view while staring at the mirror. This helps to nurture the reflecting skill learned and further develops the critical thinking and questioning aspect of the brain. I also used to ask my close friends some questions around a topic which is of interest for both of us and communicate and share with each other our points of view. This helped both of us in thinking about the topic, reflecting together, and understanding each other experiences better. Through such everyday discussions, I can practice the skill of asking good questions and reflecting with a peer.
Remember to be respectful and compassionate with everyone in all your communication. Respect is the most important aspect of an inclusive dialogue environment. I learned this skill from a moderator of one of the Generation Global Video Conferences in which I participated in at school. He intervened when we became too aggressive in our communication and taught us the value of respect in dialogue.
Since then, I tried to be very respectful in my dialogue threads in the UDA, which I believe encouraged others to share their personal experience with me in confidence. This has helped me throughout my journey in the UDA to get varied and respectful criticism of my dialogues. Being respectful makes the other person feel safe and allows for a conducive environment.
To perfect the skill of dialogue, one must constantly read and gain knowledge of every domain. I used to dialogue with my teachers without reading about the topic which led to a lot of loose ends in our communications, due to which I was not able to understand the context fully and contribute to the dialogue to my full extent. This eventually made me realise that reading makes one aware of contemporary topics and allows one to put forward views with respect and contribute to dialogues respectfully. It further nurtures the Global Communication skill to expand the domain of one’s knowledge. I try to read important news or listen to podcasts to help me keep in touch with contemporary topics around the world. This practice has helped me in contributing to dialogues and getting a better understanding of the context.
I have made many friends by taking part in the Video Conferences conducted by Generation Global and we often discuss some pressing issues and gain understanding of each other’s point of view. At first glance, these skills seem quite simple and easy to practice mastering. But consistency is the key here and it is what makes the difference. Practicing these skills not only helped me sustain the core skills of dialogue, in my everyday life, but also helped me to become a better and well-informed global citizen.