Ever needed to communicate or even collaborate with someone who just didn’t agree with you or see things as you did? Think there’s only two options: their way to your way? Barrera and Kramer propose a third option inclusive of both ways. They present an approach that goes beyond “both-and” to arrive at a third option: Skilled Dialogue, a field-tested series of strategies that can transform contradictory interactions into complementary ones.
Readers will learn how to
• build mutually complementary relationships that honor difference
• access and mine the strengths of differences
• explore multiple ways of creating mutually satisfying options without the need for compromise
• apply the six Skilled Dialogue strategies in ways that generate respect (i.e., honor identity), reciprocity (i.e., honor voice) and responsiveness (i.e., honor connection)
Case examples and sample scenarios allow readers to practice what they’ve learned and provide them with models for their own interactions. An invaluable resource for all who interact across differences, whether professionally or personally, this book will help readers to resolve interactional challenges in ways that allow differences to enhance outcomes rather than detract from them.
About the Author
Drs. Barrera and Kramer bring a rich professional as well as personal history to this book. They have taught diverse student populations at the university level for over 20 years. During that time, they were particularly focused on communication and collaboration across diverse boundaries. This current book is grounded in their experience as well as their previous writing (Barrera, Kramer & Macpherson, 2012, Barrera & Kramer, 2009). Its material incorporates more recent information and moves beyond the area of cultural diversity, the main focus of their earlier work.
Dr. Barrera grew up on the Texas-Mexico border and learned the challenges of diversity at an early level as she entered school having spoken only Spanish until the summer before her entry. Dr. Kramer grew up in the MidWest amid a culturally rich neighborhood and later working with American Indians. She currently resides in Southern California.