Last night I attended an event where the opportunity was offered at the end of the evening to converse with others who had just watched the same film.  I was invited by a friend to attend and will admit that catching up with her was my highest motivation.  If we’d been invited to connect with everyone in the room before the screening, I may well have been happily shaken out of that intention and into some new conversations and connections.  This post from Viv McWaters on ways of connecting individuals at a large gathering was a timely ‘nudge’ to be aware of my behaviours as a participant as well as a facilitator.  Here’s an excerpt.

I learnt from one of my facilitation mentors, Antony Williams, that individuals generally come to groups with the need to be seen as an individual within the group (everyone likes to be recognised for being themselves first, a member of the group second) and to understand the connections. One of the first things I like to do when attending an event is to see who else will be there, and who I know, or people I’d like to meet in person. I don’t think I’m alone. Antony helped me understand that individuals are making choices and connections in groups all the time, whether conscious or not: where to sit and with whom, who to talk to, what questions to ask.

And on the same note of connecting, here’s a great question about listening from Kevin at Anecdote.

What do you think is more important when you listen – your ability to listen, or your desire to listen?

 

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We let so many things get in the way of us hearing each other – the need to be right, fear of change, our adversarial political systems.  These words of Pema Chodron inspire a way of being together and discovering new things about others and ourselves.

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“Instead of making others right or wrong, or bottling up right and wrong in ourselves, there’s a middle way, a very powerful middle way…. Could we have no agenda when we walk into a room with another person, not know what to say, not make that person wrong or right? Could we see, hear, feel other people as they really are? It is powerful to practise this way…true communication can only happen in that open space”

 

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney

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