“Suspension of thoughts, impulses, judgments, etc., lies at the very heart of Dialogue.” – David Bohm

Successful dialogue is at the heart of who I am and what I do, and I admire David Bohm’s brilliant analysis of what’s required to have better dialogues by suspending judgement and bringing heart to it. Bohm’s Dialogue – A Proposal is an insightful and in-depth read on his approach to creating dialogue.

David Bohm initially worked in quantum physics. He worked closely with Einstein and contributed significantly to our understanding of quantum physics and the theory of relativity. He also developed an entire process for understanding thought and communication. Bohm believes that dialogue “enables inquiry into, and understanding of, the sorts of processes that fragment and interfere with real communication between individuals, nations and even different parts of the same organization.”

What dialogue is not 

“Dialogue is not discussion, a word that shares its root meaning with “percussion” and “concussion,” both of which involve breaking things up. Nor is it debate. “

What dialogue can do 

Dialogue is a way of observing, collectively, how hidden values and intentions can control our behavior, and how unnoticed cultural differences can clash without our realizing what is occurring.”

What dialogue can accomplish

“sense of increased harmony, fellowship and creativity can arise.”

Why encourage better dialogue?

Dialogue allows for “a process that emphasizes transparency, openness, honesty, spontaneity, and the sort of deep interest in others that can draw out areas of vulnerability that may long have been kept hidden.”

Why David Bohm rocks

Not only did Bohm give us a great communication roadmap, but he also describes the spirit of dialogue beautifully. He makes my short list of most-admired.

“The spirit of Dialogue is one of free play, a sort of collective dance of the mind that, nevertheless, has immense power and reveals coherent purpose. Once begun it becomes a continuing adventure that can open the way to significant and creative change”

– David Bohm