Monthly Archives: November 2012

The importance of your space

I appreciated the additional reading this week for Block, Chapter 31 Caring about Place.  While chapter 17 of our text did lend a little to the topic of the setup of the room, this section definitely goes into greater detail.   My Director and I both have toyed with the set up of the room often, especially when it is a class that requires dialogue and interaction in order to be meaningful for the students.  At times however we do not have the choice and arrive to a room that has been set up by others, often in classroom style.  When the room is set up in this fashion, I tend to pace and was told once by someone that they appreciated that about my teaching style.  A habit that I feel at times is more due to nerves than anything else, I reflect now on the fact that it does also bring me closer to those in other areas of the room besides the front row.  I’m also curious about the possibilities that chairs on wheels and no tables could provide.  Perhaps something to consider the next time we experiment with room set up…

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A connection?

As I read Nancy Dixon’s Perspectives on Dialogue, I had a sudden thought.  When consulting, you are very focused on perspectives, feelings and enlightenment.  You want to help them understand things from another perspective and see what may be going wrong based on your expertise.  You also want to ensure that when you leave, what you have left them with is something that they can continue.  So I wonder, should the consultant also consider the feedback meeting and any work after as a learning opportunity(s) for the client? Reflecting back, Block has given insight to the importance of being authentic in the relationship with the client.  Dixon too stresses the importance of being authentic, but with a slightly different emphasis.  “It is (…) necessary to speak authentically and fully about all which bears upon the subject of the dialogue” (the problem).  “To do less is to mislead others who are trying to learn, and to prevent oneself from learning as well.”  For the first time I think I truly see the connection between being a facilitator and an internal consultant in the organization in which I work. When you take on a consulting project, you are using your expertise to examine a process and it’s opportunities.  But you are also using your abilities as an instructor/facilitator to guide the individual or organization through the process of development for the change that they seek.  You are, in a sense, their partner in diagnoses and teacher in change (if they choose to move forward with it).  Dixon also provides further insight into the another aspect of the meetings with the client, again aligning with Block as well as Schien.  Dixon stresses the importance that listening can play in the dialogues with the client, something I am wrapping my head around as we prepare for our upcoming meeting on Wednesday.  I so quickly, as I’ve eluded before, try to fix what I perceive to be the problem.  But the role I am playing is not to fix really, it is to facilitate change.  “When individuals say more than they know they lose the ability to hear the perspectives of others, and others, hearing that person’s certainty, refrain from offering their conflicting thoughts, which might widen and enrich his or her perspective.”