For this pre-Thanksgiving #whoshareswins post, we offer the handy-dandy “Engaging in Dialogue” guide, developed by Marian University, one of H·A ThirtyOne’s partner institutions. It’s just what the holiday ordered if you’re getting anxious about potentially tense topics of conversation. Instead of biting your tongue or wandering into the laundry room to covertly tweet your frustrations, we suggest a preemptive scan of how to healthily engage.

Engaging in Dialogue, by Marian University

Engaging in Dialogue, by Marian University

Marian tells it straight, right from the beginning, declaring,

“Dialogue is a brave space.”

So true, so true. That’s one of the many reasons we love working in higher ed, where dialogue, reflection, and questioning, are generally taught and encouraged. These are tools, and they really belong in everyone’s tool chest…not just those housed on campus.

Marian’s quick guide to dialogue offers easy to remember points on how to “aim for understanding rather than agreement.” Save it to your phone. Print a copy for the back of your napkin. Heck, print extras for the back of everyone’s napkin.

Thanks to Marian University. Thanks to all of our partners. And thanks to all of our friends and family – near and far – who enter that brave space this Thanksgiving. Happy dialogues.


Karyn Adams, serves as H·A ThirtyOne’s principal and creative director, working closely with enrollment leadership and strategic communicators on campuses across the country. She is a frequent presenter and speaker on campuses and at higher ed conferences, including NACACSACACAMA, and UCDA. Have some dots that need to be creatively connected? Contact Karyn at