Blog > Courageous conversations

February 18, 2013

Sometimes I’m asked how I know about various facilitation approaches, how I know what to do, and what not to do, that sort of thing. One of the ways is to put myself in the shoes of a participant and notice my own reactions, and also learn from the others I’m with.

I’ve signed up for a week of doing this. I’m part of a group of 25 people (all strangers to me) who have come together to grapple with their own small and large questions, to reflect on what we do and why, how and with whom – that sort of stuff. It’s quite a shift of focus to be a participant. Here’s some of my Day One reflections.

I understand the principle of organic connecting, allowing people to meet each other as the day unfolds, and as the day unfolded I warmed to it a bit. Yet I was still left wondering who these people are, and who they are connected with. In fact, I think it’s the connections between people that interest me the most. It soon becomes obvious that some people know each other, or the facilitator knows some of the participants, so I think there’s some value in making that explicit. I’m not quite sure why yet. I just noticed that I missed not knowing that.

We did a cool activity that really resonated for me. We were asked to imagine ourselves as lead actors in our own movie and to think about the journey, or story arc, of our week on this course. We were asked to come up with a title for our movie, a genre, and a strap line. It was a brilliant way to get all of us thinking differently about our expectations of the week.

I also really liked the idea that sharing something of yourself with a complete stranger can throw a different light on that idea or thinking. This feeds another (as yet unpublished) blog post I’ve been writing about the advantages and disadvantages of showing up with others (where there’s an element of safety, sharing and connection) and showing up on your own (where there’s a greater element of risk, and vulnerability, and the potential for surprise).

“We need to have a courageous conversation with ourself and others about our needs, desires and promptings.” – David Whyte, poet

This is what today was about – beginning to have those courageous conversations. It was a good start.


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