Intercultural dialogue - Coyote - Issue # 13
To coincide with the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 and the launch of the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue, the theme of this issue looks at intercultural and inter- religious dialogue from a range of different perspectives: From the perspective of institutions including the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum; from the perspective of gender and from the perspective of training and non-formal learning. It is possible to see some commonality in the different perspectives but each one provides us with something different.
There is some serious thinking around a serious subject and there is an acknowledgement that not everything is clear. This is a crucial, global issue; if intercultural dialogue were easy to explain and to do, then perhaps this kind of thinking and learning would not be so necessary. So even if, like me, this is not your specialist subject, do apply your mind to the content. I believe there is something here for everyone who works with or for your people in Europe and beyond.
Part of my work involves training management coaches. I often use Johari’s window (see Marker in Coyote 12) as a way of discussing how meaningful conversations can be improved by increasing the size of the “open” (or “arena”) window. This happens through disclosure and feedback about ourselves and in the case of coaching this comes from great questions and even better listening skills. What struck me in many of the articles in this issue was the parallel with this lesson, that any dialogue – be it intercultural, inter-religious or inter- anything else will benefit from the development of those skills and of the courage to use them.