Exchanging with one another serves as many purposes as there are humans on this planet.
There is no one exchange like the other.
That can make it somewhat confusing when we try to repeat a previous experience and find that it doesn’t work.
It would be easy to say, that it didn’t work because the other person has different communication preferences. Other ideas like different opinions, different experience or knowledge don’t help that much either. While it might help to be aware of these differences, they remain differences. They lack the quest to learn what is to be achieved through the exchange and how it is going to be achieved.
When I was an active member of JCI I had a lot of fun to participate in debating workshops. We defined non-sense subjects which would allow for fun and removed the need to place one’s personal opinion into the debate. The idea was to create a safe space in which we could debate. By debating according to a defined protocol we could concentrate on winning against the other team. The pleasure was to use all the available debating techniques. Just like in political debates the aim of these exchanges was to win over the other. By being able to place one’s own opinion ahead of others it is assumed that the winner would gain influence.
A discussion, on the other hand, doesn’t have this idea to win over the other. While the discussion will be a space in which arguments are being exchanged. The goal of the exchange usually is to find the best possible decision together.
A dialogue is a different beast. The dialogue is there to create a learning space with one another. Participants in the dialogue seek to understand each other. They seek to gain a more profound mastery of the subject and do it together. The dialogue is the space where the learning and the expansion of the subject happens. Participants dive into nuances and seek to understand what the individuals contribute to the dialogue. Whatever is interesting is investigated.
When conversations start and participants have different ideas of what is to be achieved it is easy for conversations to get stuck.