Posted by: Martin Fox | April 21, 2009

President Obama – does dialogue make the USA weaker

President Obama – does dialogue with critics of the USA make us weaker?

President Obama is taking a lot of heat from the fear-based experts and the talking heads in the media over his willingness to engage in dialogue with leaders who are critical of the United States policies (yes, some are even our enemies.) These experts feel that dialogue with critics and enemies makes us weaker. But does it really?

President Obama’s approach of “dialogue engagement” is absolutely a departure from the past administration’s policy of isolating, polarizing, and demonizing our critics (“You are either with us or against us.”, the “Axis of Evil”, etc…). But, does dialogue with critics and enemies make the USA weaker – hmm, good question?

I have a secret… While I’m not an on-air expert in the CNN or Fox News world,  I do have a lot of experience in conflict resolution, conflict prevention, and global negotiations. The secret is called “dialogue”. Open, respectful, and continued dialogue – even when the person sitting across the table from you is the closest thing you can imagine to the devil incarnate. 

Dialogue opens conversations about real issues, both real and perceived. Dialogue allows people to reach agreements and new understandings,. Dialogue also provides a process to “respectfully agree to disagree”.

Dialogue makes us stronger, not weaker. You don’t give up power by talking, you might actually learn something useful. Imagine that…

Peace out – Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership.


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