Monday, September 05, 2016

I wanted them to begin to trust me .....

I wanted them to begin to trust me...

I have been leading sessions these past weeks but I don't like clicking detailed descriptions of the process and journey for me and all concerned ....
Here I am sharing one from some time ago and ....
.....I was leading a week-end residential for 41 beautiful humans.
I was the only man.
There was about 15 Mums and four Staff and the rest were energetic kids of all ages.

There was loads to do for everyone ::
Banana Boat
Stock car racing
climbing walls
speed boat riding
and a massive space within the grounds to howl around and play outside their normal urban context.
They are the  basic facts.

Was really good for all the children and adults. 
One basic objective was to get them all together in a safe environment and to build relationships with staff and each other. 

It was a start in someway because some of the staff had not met some of the Mums.
A big-stand out for me was one particular session which I led for the Adults. 
It was me and them together for the first time - other than the informal contact during a few short hours before that. 
I wanted them to begin to trust me so I tried to get all talking and gently eased them into sharing with a Blob Tree postcard in each hand - an aid to catch eye and a better focus than looking at me, wringing their own hands or examining fingernails. 

It was me  asking them all in turn to express, first of all, a simple level of sharing.
I felt, as we progressed, I needed to seek their attention regarding their own listening. 
I drew their attention on each occasion that one 'spoke over' one another. They were just not listening to each other. Several talking at once. Listening was not considered.
So I interrupted every time someone talked over another. Inputting about sensitivity. Listening with your eyes. And, after about 40 minutes, a different climate appeared.
True Participation 
creates Cohesiveness, Climate of Trust, 
Motivation, Commitment and 
Development of all  humans involved

Using a few other Blob Tree Tools - I sensed that they were ready ........... sensing a climate of trust present.
I led them into looking beyond the Blobs to thinking and voicing their observation about their own housing estate - the strengths and the weaknesses.

There was the most powerful voicing of facts opinions and feelings. 
And, most wondrously, a powerful awareness which was demonstrated by their listening ....
... and the silence that was delivered around the words uttered by each lone speaker in turn was ....... WOW.

"We become fully conscious only 
of what are able to express to someone else.
We may already have had a certain inner intuition about it, 
but it must remain vague 
so long as it is unformulated"
Paul Tournier
from  "The Meaning of Persons

There was tears too. 
Not from sadness but from realisation that they had articulated something that was churning around inside their souls - 
- words unspoken 
- words unheard 
- words and feelings that had never been made concrete to the unique self or any other human.
At the beginning, I was easing words from most reluctant lips.
At the middle phase they were rolling and .....
..... at the end I couldn't shut them up!!

Quotes ::
"The taxi drivers don't want to take me to our estate"
"The curtains in our community hall are the same ones for 20 years"
"The impact of coming into our estate is terrible - it looks so bad as a first impression"
"Private houses being built around us is making it more obvious that we are being neglected"
"People don't know about the good parts of us as they just hear about the reputation"
"I have never had a chance to talk to anyone about my feelings before"
"I have never spoke in front of a whole group of people before"
"This helps us to understand each other so much better"

My objectives had included ::
Building a climate of trust in the group and it continuing afterwards.
Encouraging self revelation - an understanding of their interior self.
Developing their self awareness and those around them.
Building confidence.
Building cohesiveness in the group.
Building relationships for life.
Creating a group time which would be experiential.
An experience they could remember and refer back to as they thought about life or reflected about the week-end.
Stretching them gently, in facilitation, to enable them to step outside their comfort zones and to encourage them to chose sensitively to grow along the road less travelled.

Because growth does not reside in a place called comfortable.

"A single event can awaken within us 
a stranger 
totally unknown to us."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For me 
to grow in all these things too .......
........ and I say all objectives were achieved ......
........ thanx to their generosity of spirit.

is a powerful