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Stop shouting! Timeout offers an opportunity to pause and consider things in peace. On this page, you can find tools and inspiration for facilitating a constructive discussion. The tools are available for everyone to use. Read more about Timeout here.

DIALOGUE TOOLS

Tools for the planning and implementation of a constructive discussion, and tips for afterwards. Browse through the tools below and try them out in practice!

There is no discussion without planning!

Start, prepare and invite.

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Stages and objectives of the discussion – Start here

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Defining the participants

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Acting as a participant and listener in a discussion

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Inviting participants

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Choose the method

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Venue and practical matters

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Preparing for a dialogue and compiling your own toolbox

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How to prepare for dealing with a conflict

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Using dialogic elements in seminars and meetings

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The role of the media in a dialogue

Erätauko verkkokeskustelu
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Constructive online conversation

Go ahead and try!

Prepare yourself and guide.

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Cards for facilitating a discussion

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Introduction: tuning into the topic and the roles

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Example script for the beginning of a dialogue

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Questions for stimulating discussion

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Ground rules for a constructive discussion

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The facilitators’s best guiding measures

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Ways to deepen the discussion

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Concluding the discussion

Things to do in a difficult situation

Prepare yourself and guide.

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Encouraging the participants to tell about their own experiences

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Activating the quiet participants in the discussion

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What should you do if someone dominates the discussion?

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How to move on from a deadlock situation

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How to ask dialogic questions

Ihmisiä ringissä ja kysymysmerkki
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When choosing the topic for the in-depth discussion is challenging

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Emotional outbreaks in the discussion

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The best measures when the starting point of the discussion is a conflict

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Flare-up of an unexpected conflict in the discussion

Hey, we get it now!

Wrap it up and learn.

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Wrapping up the discussion

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Feedback from participants

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How to ensure an impact

LEARNING BY DOING

Here are some tips given by experienced facilitators for tough situations and for self-development as a conversationalist.

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This is how to turn a debate into a dialogue – three humane bits of advice

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“Dialogue could be in the government programme”

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You can have a dialogue even with people who have committed genocide

LATEST

Opinion

Our society is shouting in the lack of a dialogue

Opinion

Why is dialogue necessary for defending democracy?

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In times of distrust Democracy Defence Dialogues are needed

Democracy Defence Dialogues front cover
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Democracy Defence Dialogues

Lockdown dialogue cover
publications

Lockdown dialogues

A tree with Timeout logo
news

Stop shouting! New foundation to promote constructive societal discussion

publications

Timeout-conversation cards

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What prevents us from taking action to mitigate climate change?

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A constructive discussion helps everyone – and now there is a new way to do it, Timeout

Opinion

This is how Timeout came into being

blogs

Example: This is how experience speech affects a discussion

Opinion

Our society is shouting in the lack of a dialogue

articles

Successful dialogue dismantles polarisation

articles

“Dialogue could be in the government programme”

articles

You can have a dialogue even with people who have committed genocide

articles

This is how to turn a debate into a dialogue – three humane bits of advice

articles

The development group of Timeout

DISCUSSIONS

Read more about Timeout discussions here (in Finnish).

What’s Timeout about?

Timeout is a new way to generate and have constructive discussions. On these pages, you can find practical tools for planning and generating public discussion, conversation on the need for dialogue and peer support in the shape of other people’s learning experiences.

You can use Timeout whenever a deeper understanding of the topic or an equal encounter is required – for instance, as a part of preparations, decision-making or bringing different people together. However, dialogue does not fit in all situations, and it should not be confused with negotiations or decision-making. Instead, use dialogue as part of the above when there is a need to better understand the topic or the field of operation.

Timeout offers an opportunity to pause and consider things in peace. The tools help you invite the ones who do not usually take part in conversations.

With the tools you can practice how to facilitate a dialogue with small steps. As your experience grows, you can become a dialogue expert! You do not have to understand everything at once. Get the hang of a few guiding measures first, and expand your knowledge one dialogue at a time. There is no reason to have cold feet, as anybody can learn.

A Timeout discussion has been successful when an equal encounter and mutual trust have been created, and the participants’ understanding of the topic has grown.

Timeout breeds a feeling of inclusion between the participants and in societal inclusion in general. Moreover, it provides a deeper understanding of the topic in question and of different perspectives. At best, it generates unpredictable insights and new thinking. The goal is not unanimity.

Work on your own plan for facilitating a discussion by going through the parts of your choice!

You can join in the discussion on Timeout, dialogue and participation in the Timeout Facebook-group (in Finnish).

Timeout has been created together with various organisations and experts by trying out different methods all around Finland in 2017. The development work continues in 2018. You can read more about the thinking of the group of 20 people coaching the development of Timeout in Finnish in the publication Dialogin vuoro [Dialogue’s turn].

Organising a discussion?

Contact the Timeout team!

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Maikki Siuko
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Janne Kareinen
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Hannele Laaksolahti
Senior Lead, Sitra

Developers

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Kai Alhanen
Dialogue Academy
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The development group of Timeout

What's this about?