Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Retreating to the hills to find your voice



On the weekend, I co-facilitated a Wellbeing Retreat for Women that centred on offering a range of tools and techniques to support women to able them to listen to their own voice and develop some approaches and skills to facilitate more effective speaking and listening.

We used material from the following sources: 
  • Ontology of the Human Observer. This has emerged from significant developments in philosophy and biology in the latter part of the 20th century, and provides a powerful new practical understanding of human beings and the nature of human communication.
  • Mindfulness and Movement. Mindfulness practice involved periods of time throughout the retreat to develop capacity to know your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations and attitudes in a non judgmental way. Movement included gentle stretching and massage.
  • Parker J Palmer's, Centre for Courage and Renewal. Joining soul and role, bringing your authentic self to what you do so your life is congruent.
to create reflective, nurturing, learning spaces for women. We also laughed, talked and shared stories, food, drinks and walks in nature.

One of the key elements explored with the women was a model by Seiler on ‘Balancing Advocacy and Inquiry”.
 



High



Advocacy


Explaining
Imposing




Mutual
Learning






Low


Observing
Withdrawing





Interviewing
Interrogating

                        Low                        High                                  

In this model your effectiveness of conversations for (i) getting things done, (ii) generating new ideas and (iii) building constructive working relationships is influenced by your use of Advocacy and Inquiry. Advocacy – statements expressing the desires, preferences, intentions and concerns of the speaker. Inquiry – listening and asking questions.
  • High advocacy, low inquiry - saying what you know and believe; one-way traffic 
  • High inquiry, low advocacy - speaker not expressing thoughts and feelings; oriented to gathering information 
  • Low inquiry, low advocacy - a low contributing approach. 
  • High advocacy, high inquiry - an approach for mutual communication.
Using the various combinations will be appropriate for you at different times and in different circumstances. Having this model enables you to speak and listen more effectively. For a conversation contact [email protected]  

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