How to introduce the principles of dialogue

As Scout Leaders, we can support young people by creating a safe space for them to share their concerns and ideas, have meaningful conversations and productive dialogue.

You can introduce the 10 principles of dialogue to young people in a fun way with guiding questions and small activities. Use this list to help guide you, and consult the Dialogue for Peace Facilitator’s Handbook to learn more.

Get inspired by the questions below, knowing that you don’t need to cover all of these questions at once - you can pick and choose 3-4 at a time:

  1. To help establish a safe space, ask:
    How can we make this space safe and comfortable to have discussions?
    Let participants propose ideas and organise the space as they suggest.
  2. To understand that dialogue is about learning, ask:
    What do we want to learn by the end of this dialogue circle?
    Let participants share what they want to learn. 
  3. To encourage the use of appropriate communication skills, ask:
    How do you want people to talk to you?
  4. To set proper ground rules, ask:
    What rules should we set before continuing this conversation? 
  5. To encourage young people to surface their feelings and confront perceptions with honesty, ask:
    Can you share what is on your mind, starting with “I feel...” or “I think...”? 
  6. To remind young people to prioritise relationships, ask:
    Who is a friend or relative in this group? What do you like most about your connection with them?
  7. To gradually address difficult questions, ask:
    What topics are difficult for you to talk about?
  8. To prevent quitting or avoiding difficult issues, ask:
    Why are these topics difficult for you to talk about? 
  9. To set the expectation that dialogue can transform us with new perspectives and ideas, ask:
    What is something you want to do differently from now on to promote friendship? 
  10. To encourage young people to share what they learn, ask:
    Did you learn something new today that you want to share with others?  

Remember to always set ground rules before a discussion to make sure everyone can speak freely and kindly, one at a time. If questions arise that you don’t know the answer to, it’s always best to be honest and say you don’t know. Let them know who they can ask instead, or that you’ll come back to them with an answer next time.

Want to learn more?

  • Download the Dialogue for Peace - Facilitator’s Handbook, created by WOSM & KAICIID
  • Follow Messengers of Peace on Facebook

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