Dialogue Community of Practice

The Dialogue Community of Practice aims to enhance the quality of relationships through conversation, allowing us to work together to improve what matters most to Scotland.

dialogue road map

The Dialogue Community of Practice aims to support the transformation of public services by using dialogue methods. We support a range of Dialogue development, including training events and practice groups.

Dialogue is an effective way to hold discussions and approach difficult situations in the workplace. It can help to get to the root of complex issues and allow people with differing opinions to think and work more effectively together.

The Dialogue approach can create a better understanding of perspectives. It requires individuals to know and share their own views clearly and importantly, understand and work with other people’s points of view. The balance struck can lead to new and innovative solutions being co-created. Dialogue and emotion are inextricably linked. Dialogue helps you notice reactive patterns and impact these have in the workplace allowing you to work more effectively with emotion.

Dialogue is less about competition or ‘winning your point’ in a conversation, it’s about ‘winning together for better outcomes’, allowing what emerges to be greater than the sum of its parts. Watch A Beginners Guide to Dialogue below to learn a little more about dialogue practice.

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Dialogue in Action

Blog by Margaret Williamson, Boardroom Development Ltd.

“Dialogue facilitates multi-agency working in the criminal justice system”

“How do we know that dialogue is an effective way of generating effective change in organisations and individuals?”

“Big conversations are often typified by the same issues that bedevil conversations further down – a lack of openness, an inability to listen, a default to old patterns and behaviours.”

“Words, Words, Words or Dialogue.”


Keep up to date with Dialogue by reading our newsletters. Join the mailing list, or read our archive below:

Other Resources

Login to the Khub for further resources on Dialogue, including recorded sessions on “Dialogue and Structural Dynamics” courtesy of H&SC in Fife.

  1. Dialogue: How to start a dialogue – Check in: What is a Check in? – Sarah Hill
  2. Dialogue: Introduction and Background to Structural Dynamics – Tony Melville
  3. Dialogue: Level 1 of Structural Dynamics – Action Modes – Sarah Hill
  4. Dialogue: Level 2 of Structural Dynamics – Operating Systems: How do you like organisations to work? – Sarah HillDialogue: Level 2 of Structural Dynamics – Operating Systems: How do you like organisations to work? – Sarah Hill
  5. Dialogue: Level 3 of Structural Dynamics – Communication Domains: Where does your attention go in conversations? – Tony Melville
  6. Dialogue: Making conversations more effective – Moral or Structural Stories – Tony Melville and Sarah Hill

Kantor Institute and Dialogix also have some good materials that explain in a little more depth structural dynamics and dialogue.

Practice Group Guidance provides information about facilitating Dialogue Practice, it’s purpose and benefits, and what is expected from you.

If you would like to learn about how facilitated dialogue sessions could help you or your team, watch this short video about facilitated work we have been progressing with Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership.

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An evaluation of the impact of the Dialogue Community of Practice to date can be found here – Published July 2016.

NHS Education for Scotland has a number of videos on the Caring Conversations Framework:

  1. An introduction to the framework with Belinda Dewar
  2. Caring Conversations in Equality & Diversity
  3. Caring Conversations are Leadership Conversations
  4. Having Caring Conversations with Carers
  5. Caring About Performance Appraisals