Leadership and Civil Civic Dialogue Across “Enemy” Lines: Promoting the Will for Dialogue

Leaders often display the all-too-human characteristic of talking only or mostly to people with whom they agree. Yet, to be effective as a leader in many circumstances requires reaching out and engaging in dialogue with those who one may fundamentally disagree and may even view as an enemy. To do so requires a particular conception of leadership, one that values dialogue. Effective dialogue, however, requires both skill and will. This article describes the concepts and strategies of a university program developed to encourage the will to engage in dialogue.