Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Workshop Notes October 21

Facilitation and “Coaching” Workshop Notes October 21

Roger started class by having us all note that a change process has an organic cycle. You can put in all the care in the world and you still have to wait for your vegetables to grow.  That helps us find a place for patience.  But speaking of growing, we’re theoretically growing in this workshop. Today we reviewed what has happened so far.  It was a Midterm, of sorts.

How we all answer the question, what have you learned, tells a lot about our model of facilitation.

JF says we pay attention to where our attention goes.  We observe our range, we examine our mandate. JF has love and awareness as his mandate.

Pete says when you hit range, creativity ceases.

Amy says Cal Poly is a different environment than at her previous job and the old techniques don’t work. She is an IT project manager, and in a previous job, she had a shared vision of business value.  In academia, where she works with staff, there are broad viewpoints. People are entrenched, not everyone has a shared vision, and there is a lot more going on than a bottom line.

Rick says he is getting clear on connection and energy exchange, examining the quality of connection, the quality of exchange.

Kurt went to a meeting where students had not done what they were supposed to do. So this week, Kurt didn't talk at the meeting and the students had to work it out on their own.

Dianne wants an A on the midterm.

Liz would like coaching to be about peers, a non-hierarchy, which we always see it as a gift. How about that?

Rick says Hospice is an amazing coaching experience, an organization with incredible sensitivity to range.

Dan says coaching is about listening well, getting students to understand their perspective and other perspectives better.

Lynn says that milestones are a social construct that are only important if someone says they are. Even riding your bike across the Golden Gate bridge can be a milestone. Or not.

Sean says maybe a student isn't here to be coached or facilitated, which raised the question, can that be true? JF says every experience is a learning experience. Pete says re-frame the question to be “what would be a way to motivate them rather than assume they don't want to be coached.”

Amy says that in interactions with students, we have to demonstrate knowledge by photocopying tests and papers to prove the interaction took place, but that’s not the most important part of teaching. She doesn’t have time to interact the way she would like to.

Roger now stops us to ask what has been your reason for speaking?  Have you been answering the question? Was your mandate conscious? 
Roger says he heard us respond to coaching question by talking about our own model and advocating for it.  He reiterates that he thinks “coaching” is a useless word. Can we use ‘teaching’ instead, or better yet, maybe ‘learning?’

Stuart is overjoyed by our conversation; he values “coaching” even if Roger doesn't.

Roger says we all have an inclination to fix Amy’s dilemma. Linda says she can feel the oppression that Amy talked about, in our classes, at every level. But how can you stop participating?

Here’s Roger's self described “useless recipe.”  First, recognize your participation in the hierarchy. Then don’t fix personal case, recognize that it is the system.  For Roger's model, use the term non-active rather than passive.  Roger seems to be speaking of his own mandate against oppression objectification, violence, suffering, etc.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (editorial addition).

Roger says we should explicitly work with mandate in groups of two, with one person speaking the context of their action. Could be the espoused model, could be lived.  Express your mandate, the context of service. You might find it is one possibility that you think of, it might be where you hit range. The other person has to re-create it with no changes, no judging, the same words, and as best as possible the exact sentences. It’s not about the meaning, you should ask, is there more, when they speak?  Then discover what it is like to go from speaker to listener when they were re-creating your mandate? Rick listened to see if they understood. JF worried about her being worried if she didn't get it all. Sean kept the mandate simple to help the listener. Dianne stared at the floor trying to memorize the sentences.

And now, the simplest homework assignment you’ve ever gotten.  Find a complaint in your life. See, told you it was easy. Find something that is a particular way and it shouldn't be that way. It ought to be another way. What is your relationship to this compliant? Bring it to class next week for show and tell.

See you Friday, Dianne

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