Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Monday 31 January 2011

The Art of Dialogue

Conceptual change is an emotional as well as an intellectual process. During the Sharing Power Conference, the Te Hau Mihi Ata team of the university of Waikato gave an interesting presentation on the dialogue between indigenous Maori knowledge and modern science. They analyze the negotiated space needed for this process and I noted their the criteria for facilitation: language, environment, attitudes, relationships, negotiation, tolerance, let people contextualize the issue, influence through integrity, be solutiuon-oriented, have time to process, set rules for engagement, have concept translators. They also stressed that the framing of the issue is key.

Friday 28 January 2011

Body language

“Sit as the horse driver of the mail coach. Don’t lean back in your chair. The way you sit communicates. The mail coach driver communicates you are interested, enthusiastic, you are on top of the issue. If you lean back in your chair, your body communicates the opposite. When one of you is doing the talking, nod from time to time, it shows the whole team is on board. Make eye contact with the client and make notes when he speaks. It 'tells' you listen and take good notice of his or hers ideas.” My colleague Gillian Martin Mehers and I are advising the team that has to present their approach of a project at the inception meeting. Gillian offers the team a link to a very recent learning resource on body language.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Biodiversity begins with a B

Communication works when it is simple and has a clear message what you can do. "Biodiversity begins with a B and ends with a Y or You!. To find out more about biodiversity and what you can do to help, go to!" So far so good: a message that sticks and is action-oriented. The tone of voice is good, memorable and reliable. There is appealing humour and a good story line. Maybe the Scottish Natural Heritage can in the next version focus less on threats and extinction, but more on awe and wonder, as explained by Futerra in Branding Biodiversity and demonstrated in the video Love not Loss.