This article outlines a reflexive, dialogical approach to evaluation in which lived experiences, meanings and underlying values become the subject of reflexive dialogues among as many interested people as possible in order to heighten their understanding. Dialogue is considered as an open, divergent conversation. In contrast to a persuasive dialogue, this type of dialogue builds on reflection, the willingness to pause in a conversation, to spend time and to explore more deeply what seems to be essential to the participants themselves. Narrative (versus argumentative) rationality informs this kind of dialogue. A case example illustrates the approach. It concerns a formative evaluation of an injury-prevention programme in two performing-arts schools. The case shows how art students in particular experience the pressures of performance. Getting students, teachers and (para) medical experts to engage in reading stories of each other's experience also raises issues pertinent not only to their personal and mutual understanding but also to the culture of the institution.