Dialogue Interviews engage an interviewee in reflective and generative conversation. Their purpose is to develop trust and encourage collective thinking that sparks creativity. Dialogue Interviews can occur with anyone inside or outside your system, in a professional environment or a more personal one.
This tool can be used to prepare for projects, workshops, or capacity-building programs, and can be applied in all phases of the U-process.
Benefits for the interviewer:
- Seeing a topic/challenge/opportunity from a new perspective.
- Connecting to participants in a process.
- Gathering data on the participants’ current challenges, questions, and expectations or on current organizational challenges.
- Possibly finding a partner for a future project.
Benefit for the interviewee:
- Increase understanding of the intentions and goals of an upcoming process.
- Create transparency and trust about the purpose and the process of the interview.
- Practice deep listening.
- Suspend your “voice of judgment”: look at the situation through the eyes of the interviewee; don’t judge.
- Access your ignorance: As the conversation unfolds, pay attention to and trust the questions that occur to you.
- Access your appreciative listening: Thoroughly appreciate and enjoy the story that you hear unfolding. Put yourself in your interviewee’s shoes.
- Access your generative listening: Try to focus on the best future possibility for your interviewee and the situation at hand.
- Go with the flow: Don’t interrupt. Ask questions spontaneously. Always feel free to deviate from your questionnaire if other questions occur to you.
- Leverage the power of presence and silence: One of the most effective “interventions” as an interviewer is to be fully present with the interviewee. Try not to interrupt a brief moment of silence.