Shenandoah Conversations: Offering Global Perspective Taking in Reflective Structured Dialogue

By: Annie Hart

Have you participated in RSD? Are you a facilitator?

Have you head Dr. Adela Borrallo-Solís or Dr. Jeff Coker talking about RSD?

Do you have no idea what RSD is and just want an explanation on what I’m talking about?

You’ve come to the right article.

RSD is the acronym for Reflective Structured Dialogue. The members of the group are led by a facilitator, who can participate in the dialogue as well. The facilitator assures all group members follow the agreements to a proper dialogue. They then propose a question, the group is given 2 minutes to think of their individual response, then the facilitator prompts one person to start.

Each person has one minute and thirty seconds to explain their answer to the question. With no interruption from anyone else.

No one can respond to what has been said until all questions have been asked and the order has been followed. At the end, questions and discussions can occur.

While that sounds serious, and kind of complicated, the thoughts and conversations that emerge from it are always thought provoking and at times surprising.

This Tuesday, October 1st, was the inaugural event of One Big Question and Shenandoah Conversations.

The three questions posed all related back to the overarching topic of, “What makes a good president?”.

It is easy to create arguments over these kinds of questions, but with RSD you are required by circumstance to listen without reply. This makes understanding each other’s that much easier.

Rather than immediately fighting with someone over differing opinions, you must take a step back to look from their perspective.

RSD is a phenomenal way to approach uncomfortable topics. Keep a look out for more RSD based events with Shenandoah Conversations to expand your own conversational skills and global perspectives.

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