Map A to Z Index Search CU Home University of Colorado University of Colorado at Boulder

the Commitment to Community Group listening to 

speaker CU Dialogue Network


CUDN Guidelines/Agreements

 The following guidelines may help facilitate a spirit of dialogue:


  • Listen from a place of learning rather than for confirmation of current thinking
  • Listen for each person’s special contribution to deepen understanding.
  • Listen for common threads from the collective, from the whole, as well as for differences. 
  • Listen to yourself, each other, and the group as a whole.
  • Listen to the quality of your own listening.
  • Listen with resilience, “hanging in” when what is said is hard to hear.


  • Speak when you are moved from your life experience.
  • When possible, use “I” statements instead of “we”, “you” or “they” and refrain from stating your views as global or absolute truths.
  • Reflect before speaking; then share even half-formed, unfinished ideas or thoughts.  They may be the seeds of new insights and intelligence for the group. 
  • Share air time. Invite others into the conversation out of curiosity and interest, and allow for silence when appropriate.
  • Tell your story without blaming, shaming, or attacking.
  • Acknowledge your new insights gained from the group.


  • Ask questions from a place of genuine curiosity, wondering, or not knowing, rather than to make a point.
  • Be willing to be uncomfortable, confused, uncertain.
  • Suspend or postpone conclusions; open yourself to discovery.
  • Pay attention to your judgments, assumptions, and certainties.  Hold them lightly, explore and examine them, and consider alternatives that may be just as useful.
  • Be present to what’s happening inside you as well as in the group.
  • Look for deeper levels of understanding.  What is the “meaning” of something to the other person.
  • When there is a disagreement, keep talking.  Use disagreement as an opportunity to explore different perspectives.
  • Allow yourself to be influenced.
  • Be open to exploring multiple possible outcomes, and unattached to preconceived results.
  • Respect confidentiality.  If you talk about your dialogue experience to people outside of the group, refrain from using people’s names or sharing their personal experiences. 


Back to top
University of Colorado at Boulder
Division of Student Affairs