| Most useful when:
||Multiple stakeholders with diverging stakes, interests, assumptions and perspectives. In situations that don’t have single bullet solutions; when you have to operate in an unpredictable, uncontrollable and constantly changing context
||A decision or criteria for a decision, about the best way(s) to approach an issue or problem is needed.
||A position or course of action is being advocated and winning is the goal
||People want to talk together about something without desiring any particular outcome from the conversation.
| Attitude towards differences
||Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together towards shared understanding.
||Deliberation emphasizes the importance of examining options and trade-offs to make better decisions.
||Debate is oppositional: two sides oppose each other and attempt to prove each other wrong
||Discussion analyses the different points of view through open and informal exchange.
| Attitude towards ‘truth’ finding
||In a dialogue there is no right or wrong, neither is there a single universal truth to be found. The point is to understand each other and use that as a basis for further collaboration.
||Deliberation is about exploring the right course(s) of action.
||Debate assumes that there is a right answer and that someone has it.
| Identity, status, power
||In dialogue explicit attention for (differences in) identity and status is common. Exploring (differences in) experiences and identities are a key element of the conversation.
||Debates often assume an “equal playing field” with little or no attention to identity, status and power
|| Discussions often assume an “equal playing field” with little or no attention to identity, status and power.
||In dialogue, one submits one’s best thinking, knowing that other peoples’ reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it.
||In deliberation people explore what’s important to them and others by asking questions. Deliberation presents assumptions for re-evaluation. In deliberation, personal experience is measured against that of the group as a whole and subject to consensus.
||In debate, one submits one’s best thinking and defends it against challenge to show that it is right. Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one’s beliefs. Debate defends assumptions as truth.
||Discussions are often conducted with the primary goal of increasing clarity and understanding of the issue with the assumption that we are working with a stable reality.
||In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find meaning, and points of connection.
||In deliberation, one listens in order to reach a consensus.
||In debate, one listens to the other side in order to find flaws and to counter its arguments.
||In discussion, one listens only to be able to insert one’s own perspective.