The article “Dialogue’s Basic Tension” by Zediker and Stewart discusses how a “dialogue involves the negotiation of a variety of tensions”  (593). These “tensions” are “holding my own ground” and “being open to the openness of others”. If one of these “tensions” does not exist in the effort to communicate then the attempt to dialogue can be considered unsuccessful. There must be a certain balance between the two.  An example in the article that shows a clear difference between both “tensions” is about an encounter with a homeless person. A person that only “holds their ground” can report where he saw the homeless person, what the homeless said to the person as they passed by, and even how she smelled (588). A person that is “open to the openness of others” would experience the encounter with the homeless person without any stereotypes or expectations; the person might recall “your eyes meeting and feeling for just that moment the connection that you and her (the homeless person) have as humans beings despite the very real differences in your senses of security and community” (588).


From my teammate’s, Ninjacook, blog entry I can identify a tension of “being open to the openness of others” but not so much “holding my own ground”. Ninjacook presented great examples on how each team member indentified ways of using what they have learned in class in order to make the group project a successful one, but he did not seem to tie together his personal thoughts on the subject with what he had just learned from his teammates.  In one instance he indeed showed a tension of “holding his own ground”.  Ninjacook mentioned that I (gym411) seemed “to subscribe to the “laid-back” approach” and that this was unfortunate for him (because he likes to have a sense of urgency for his work).  But actually, this is unfortunate for me as well! (I also like having the sense of urgency!)  J There was a misunderstanding between our blogs, and because of this I was confused at his attempt to “hold his own ground”.


My other teammate, Spiceynoodlesoup, showed both “tensions” (well to me at leastJ).  He started his blog by saying: “All of my teammates recognized the importance of being “open” when workings as a group.” This is his way of “holding his ground”; by expressing that all the teammates shared his own idea as well.  Spiceynoodlesoup then was “open to the openness of others” by explaining everyone’s point of view, and recalling a problem and I (gym411) had with previous groups: “These skills will steer us clear of communication breakdowns similar to the experiences of Gym411, where frustration with his group led to Gym411 shutting out the other members and doing all the work alone.” Spiceynoodlesoup put himself in my position and “understood” the frustration that a bad group experience can be and offered his positive thoughts to prevent it.


But as it is the case for every blog/response that I write, this is just an opinion from what I understood from the article and my teammate’s blogs.  Meaning that I could have misinterpreted the article, my teammates, or both! (Hopefully I didn’t) I will keep my mind and ears open so that I can keep realizing how much I don’t knowJ. (Oh and by the way, this is still the best team!)


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