SD Focuses on Relationships
Sustained Dialogue differs from other change-making processes through its focus on understanding the nature of community relationships, which are often the “problem behind the problem”. Individuals carry culture and stories that ultimately shape national behavior or institutional culture. SD reaches beyond formal institutions to include “whole bodies politic”—everyday community members as well as formal leaders. Our method for changing society is to focus on the five elements of relationship:
SD is a Five Stage Process
SD is a unique change process which (1) focuses on transforming relationships that cause problems, create conflict, and block change; and (2) emphasizes the importance of effective change over time. Since transforming relationships requires an ongoing effort, SD gradually develops over a five-stage process. This multistage approach serves as a guidepost for SD programs and for those in conflict to create sustainable change in their relationships and communities.