Communologue: dialogue used in community groups

Communologue is a powerful dialogical tool for safe communication and connection in groups.

Communologue is a guided process, which creates and maintains a conversational space, where everyone is heard, understood, and respected. All views and contributions are explicitly welcomed, and habitual ways of oneness and rejection, are gently replaced with an invitation to enjoy diversity. Communologue provides a unique opportunity for larger groupings, to move from entrenched conflict and distrust into a space of compassion, deep understanding, and free-flowing exchange of ideas. Communologue is not specifically:

  • a problem-solving technique
  • task-oriented
  • conflict resolution

However, Communolgue is a process of coming together in a reliably safe space, paving the way to attuned rhythms, and so as all the pendulums in a room full of clocks, will begin to swing together, so each person in a Communologue, shares, and builds upon the sharing of the others. This creates a space, where problems may be solved, tasks may be accomplished or facilitated, and conflicts may be resolved.

Communologue contributes to achieving peace in our world, by bringing together the three elements:

Safety, which is essential to any communication.

Honor for each person, and what they bring.

Hope, where they may have been none before.

The history of Communologue

The Imago Relationship International (IRI) Peace Project, grew as a response to the tragedy of September 11, and the desire within the Imago community to contribute peaceful solutions to conflicts within groups and larger communities. The Peace Project group, led by the pioneer Allan Schiffer, felt that their most important contribution would be to develop the core Imago concept of the Couples Dialogue, created by Harville Hendrix and Helen La Kelly Hunt (1988) into a form that would work in larger settings. They’ve experienced that the Imago processes of mirroring, validation and empathy, modified to fit a group setting, provide the same benefits to groups or communities that it provides in dyads: safety, freedom from reactivity, assurance of being listened to, and connection.

No discussion involving communication and group process, could exist without the distillation of ideas from, and appreciation for, thinkers and teachers such as Carl Rogers (1948), Marshal Rosenberg (2003), Bohm (1995), Issacs (1999), Wheatley (2002), Bion (1975) and many others.

From all these building blocks, tools, techniques and ideas, and along with the ideas, efforts, the laughter and tears of the Peace Project members, a new dialogical creation has emerged.

Since 2001, some people have left, others joined, and thousands of hours, reflections, dialogues and writings, have come together to create and coin the term Communologue (community, communicate & dialogue).

During the last decade, Communologue has been taught and applied to many settings, ranging from the intimate (family groupings, support groups, committees) to larger community settings (work settings, schools, community groups, Imago communities) to international issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli Imago Project, and the work with Rwanda’s delegation to the U.N.