Welcome to The Dialogue Venture. I’m so looking forward to hearing your insights on dialogue, sharing some of the things I’ve learned, and—I hope—build one more community in which people can talk with civility and compassion.

The About page tells my story in a nutshell, but I thought you might want to know how I became so intrigued with dialogue in the first place.

It all started during the Reagan presidency. As public officials argued about the economy and national defense and Nicaragua, I noticed that each side came to the “dialogue” with its own set of facts—the set that fit its agenda. Neither side would concede the accuracy of the other’s facts, let alone discuss interpretations or analyses.

Before I knew it, I saw the same pattern across the social spectrum: bitter exchanges over abortion and gay marriage, Republicans toward Democrats, liberals toward conservatives. Families, too, had their own problems with communication, putting up defenses and marshaling arguments and counterarguments. People were talking not with, or even to, but past one another.

How can we resolve anything that way?

At the same time, the questions that emerged from my relationship with Holy Cross Monastery led me to reconsider how we dialogue. When we discuss the issues of the day, why can’t we talk rather than shout?

That led me to consider a new approach to dialogue…which led to the book, and the blog, etc.

That’s it in a nutshell. What about you? What brings you here? I’d love to hear your story. Feel free to share here or, if you’re more reserved, contact me directly.