"We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don't make us weak. They're the source of our strength."
— Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States
Isaura Barrera and Lucinda Kramer have taught at the university level for more than 20 years. They describe Skilled Dialogue as "a proactive tool for converting diversity from challenge to opportunity; i.e., for mining and minding its riches. It is a field-tested approach designed to tap into and leverage the power of paradox. ... Skilled Dialogue interactions with diverse others can be crafted in ways that allow differences to enrich rather than limit available options and opportunities."
Barrera and Kramer are convinced that choosing relationship over control enables everyone to benefit and to flourish. On the other hand, holding tight to preset agendas destroys connections and blocks that which might be "waiting to emerge."
With purposeful elan, the authors present the six foundations of Skilled Dialogue and elaborate on their values:
In their work, Barrera and Kramer have focused on communication and collaboration across diverse boundaries. This handy and enlightening work proves that all their work has paid off handsomely.
"Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity."
— John Hume, Irish politician