Dyads and Triads are simply 2 or 3 people engaged in a conversation. However, not all conversations are created equal. When people speak with each other, they are often not listening well. While nodding the head and seeming to listen, people are often thinking about what they are going to say in response. Or they are allowing their mind to wander off to a concern that may be distracting them. On top of that, our conversations are often not about the things that really matter. When two or three people talk, it is often to complain — “ain’t it awful …”

When hosting sacred conversations, the questions that a hosting team develops are carefully crafted. Every word is considered for the outcome that the question could create. The participants are invited to speak in 2’s or 3’s and there is a defined practice or “container” for the conversation. When speaking in dyads, each participant is given the opportunity to speak uninterrupted. The listener is asked to listen intently to what is being said without interrupting or giving feedback with words or gestures. They simply listen — usually for 2 or 3 minutes. Depending on the question, the listener may then be invited to echo back to the person what they heard being said — the meaning that they received from the words. They do not judge or offer advice, but simply mirror back what they heard. And then the roles are reversed.

When participants engage in a 3 person conversation — a triad — each person has a specific period of time to speak to the topic or question. Then each of the listeners in turn reflects back what they heard being said. This has the added benefit of giving the speaker two different perspectives on what was heard.

Dyads and Triads are an effective practice for building community and harvesting new insights, information, knowledge and wisdom from a community of faith.