This paper aims to illuminate and analyse the participants’ experiences of the influences of a dialogue intervention. Cooperation and coordination in health care require planning of dialogically oriented communication to prevent stress and ill health and to promote health, well-being, learning and efficiency in the organisation.
An intervention method based on dialogue theory, with Socratic provocations and concrete workplace examples enhanced authenticity of conversations. A qualitative study, using qualitative content analysis, entailed interviews with 24 nurses, assistant nurses and paramedics, strategically selected from 156 intervention participants.
Two themes emerged, dialogue-learning processes and dialogue-promoting communicative actions. The first includes risk-taking to overcome resistance and fear of dialogue, expressing openly thoughts and feelings on concrete issues and taboo subjects, listening to and reflecting on one’s own and others’ perspectives and problematising norms and values. The second comprises voicing opinions, and regarding one’s own limits; requesting support and room for manoeuvre; and restraining negative emotions and comments in the interest of well-being. Findings depict strengthened awareness and readiness regarding dialogue and multiple balancing of dialogue at work.
This study implies further observing and examining of communicative patterns during workplace dialogue.
A useful approach to communication development for occupational health and personnel in health care and other workplace contexts.
Previously, arenas have been created for dialogue, but close-process studies of dialogue in health-care work are scarce. This study provides insights into how workplace communication can develop towards dialogue.
The authors are grateful to AFA Insurance (main funder, grant no. 070082), Region Västra Götaland and the Board of Directors of the Institute of Stress Medicine for financial support and to all health-care workers who participated.
Grill, C., Ahlborg Jr, G., Wikström, E. and Lindgren, E.-C. (2015), "Multiple balances in workplace dialogue: experiences of an intervention in health care", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 267-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-07-2013-0047
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