In discussion the sharing of information and views trigger recall of relevant details and experiences that are hard to do alone. Having many perspectives available reveals the flaws of arguments that can falsely appear well defined and bring to light missed interpretations. However people are complex, they don’t just use words in discussion, they use most of their being, they manage their presence, use cue signals, facial expressions, vary their emotional responses, use humour, aggression, distraction and focus.
As we get to know people better over time, we learn those things about them and how to take them into account. When people know each other well, the strategies and barriers fall away and communication becomes an easier and more relaxing process. When working with people who are unknown to us we don’t have time to achieve that. Here I’ve collated some methods, ideas and insights from a number of years working in many different situations, that all had a need for objective and forward looking focus in a context of bringing together diverse and challenging viewpoints.