Notes from NELSOZ

On this page you can get a sense of some of what we’re doing  on the NELSOZs (NACAD Experiential Learning Sessions on Zoom) by reading some feedback and notes taken from various sessions.

Facilitator Wannette Tuinstra’s slide presentations from Oct. 17 :  •••NELSOZ 1  and Oct. 31: ••NELSOZ 1 The Sequel

Oct. 3/17: Notes from Wannette who participated in a dialogue about our process and goals as a group:

NELSOZ Authentic Dialogue, 03 October 2017

Quiet space and mindfulness, introductions.

Jacob was our facilitator and asked questions:

what brought you here? what were your expectations?

very open to the experience of what it was, aware it was not quite formalized

it its beginning stages came here because we only learn by interacting with others

learn about our differences and how to live with them and learn from them

  being together, coming together, and seeing what skills, knowledge and experience would come about , as we create this together space

consciously co creating an experience of being together;

accessing more approaches to teaching global citizenship and spiritual world

gain more resources/ideas

How do you connect to authentic dialogue? Where do you go in work and other pursuits, that connects with authentic dialogue.

a musical trio practicing Flamenco is a musical artform that demands authentic dialogue, because there is no leader, its co creation, is tracking the other,  so we have to be tuned into each other, and respectful of independence whilst being in unity. Wonderful arena to practice principles of authentic dialogue. A lot of it is purely musical, emotional.

currently training in Hakomi, which is assisted self study, many ways of describing, I see as a kindred methodology. At a personal level, I aspire to be authentic with my interactions.

conflict in the middle east is a big part of my life, leaving me in dismay many times. But bringing Israelis and Palestinians together is like a beacon. Even if our chances are dim, that is what I dedicate myself to. What I do day to day, I try to bring employees and managers together in the workplace, because creating a better understanding between them is important not only for performance but so that he or she is truly a member of the organization and have a relationship with the manager. So that is how I put into practice, so I dance between these two worlds, the workplace and bridging conflict in the middle east and other places.

everything is communication , so whether online or out shopping or whatever, I am always noticing what it going on, people are communicating, now that I am online reaching people all over the world, there is always chances for misunderstanding, so it is hugely important and useful.

in my personal life, is my cross cultural relationship, at a time when the world is quite islamaophobic, and we communicate honestly and almost transcendently, but many people maybe think we shouldn’t be together, and so we have to find a way to connect beyond the labels. then I bring this to my many work roles, whatever I am doing I think on reflection, I am authentically myself, I want to learn from others, so in my teaching, I am learning too, and I always say that, so it is an authentic interaction.

it comes from the core of your being, your personal life and radiates outward

what do you think will improve  the experience of authentic dialogue?

it takes time when many people from different places are meeting, find ways that it works.

In many meetings we talk about authentic communication instead of putting into practice.

Talk about it in an abstract, macro level, whereas it is interesting and useful to go into that, it becomes it becomes more interesting, when it is grounded in micro examples, case studies.

we are having overlapping and similar conversations. interested in exploring the nitty gritty, as individuals, or a case study and how AD has been used.

not sure what it looks like, that is what I am missing,  grounding our meetings into concrete interactions.

so actually practicing it.  And learn as we doing it

the word self congratulatory has been used.

isn’t it wonderful, such an amazing concept, such a need in the world

instead of getting into the dialogue hoping that there might be some conflict in our group, even a difference of opinion, that would start authentic dialogue, as someone gets attached to an idea, or offended not being heard, and we become aware as conscious beings, it could be a wonderful hothouse in which to experience.

How do we move from the abstract to the concrete? What do we need to do here, to take on a more hands on experience so everyone can walk away at the end, I am experiencing and living authentic dialogue?

we could take on as a  group a little project, that was aligned with AD, planned and did something in our communities, we could practice together., then we could exercise what we are learning. One area would be with refugees, because it is growing, and will be more complex and challenging all over the world, or something else. Then we can come back here to exchange notes and dive a little deeper.

the session facilitated by Libby and Len where we paired up, it was time consuming but the experience of sharing , work with them was invaluable.  there are many such exercises in mediation and facilitation that we can use to develop our skills, put in a new context but build that concrete experience.

understanding little by little authentic dialogue in our gathering

each facilitator  give an outline of this dialogue, present questions in events, important questions, underline key words, then each participants can think of his or her ideas, and try to make more concrete ideas , little by little, will be helpful.

send a notice or agenda, what will be the key words and main questions of the coming session. Will focus, direct and deepen discussion

practice going deeper. Or lighter. not just talking about ideas, providing a context within which we can go deeper or higher. Some attributes can be arrows, portals to going deeper into our exchanges.

need a feeling of safety to go deeper.  that I can share openly, my aspirations, struggles, disappointments with kindness.

what would deeper mean or look like?

session with Libby and Len provides an excellent model of going deeper, different ways, going deeper as a group, but we haven’t; had much of an opportunity to engage with each other. 

Methodology, work we might be engaging wit , will look very different.

Good idea to go out in our communities and bring ideas back here.

we are becoming more robotic, with so many communication devices, seem to be connected to some device, lost our expectations of having greetings or any interaction. So I have been practicing my own version, when I go to a business for instance.

familiar faces for safety and trust

Idea in core meetings, was to have people register, five or  sessions in advance and make a commitment to be there, so we have a group that is stable and continuous.

Limit numbers: less people, it’s easier.

Sometimes when a lot  of people, it feels amazing with faces from all over the world, but the quality of the connection is not as good.

create agenda points, establish exactly what we are going into how and when.

creating a course, or study experience of ad, each sessions like a chapter in a book ,but all connected, so we go through a process, and each time we learn different aspects through consulting and study as well as through experiential dialogue.

not only intelltectual approach, how to practice ad in our life with some activities, very important.

A little more research on theory on how to inspiration, how to build it, with impact and influence by practicing. We should apply what we learn through interactions.

More systematic. More training, our group discussion to develop it.

a course of some kind, that brings together some of the ideas we have been hearing. 5-6 sessions, would enable us to begin practicing, deepening our understanding, share more of who we are, where we try to go, our aspiration. Sorry, this course has reached capacity, we can open up another one.

Co create the course. Take responsibility. Be the learning.

J can take a different form as the sessions progress. The course a living, breathing entity

Hugh asked what that would look like? Like today’s session but with some questions?

Common understanding, what AD really is, what it means to us

several sessions at the beginning we did that, identify attributes, protocols, we even have pages on the website.

What I am concerned about  is that we will get back into, what Yerina called talking about authentic dialogue, instead of jumping in

when we go into theory, we can combine with something experiential, maybe role playing.

I feel like I don’t have a good grasp, maybe it does not require a conflict that you are grappling through, not even sure of context where it is used.

usually conflict can be a wonderful thing. Quote, in a couple if two people are always agreeing, you can be absolutely sure that one person is calling the shots. In a relationship there is some conflict, and if there isn’t then maybe we are not really being authentic. But we have to feel safe enough to do that.

Using role playing, to bring some real conflict that we are experiencing personally or broader world, and can work with that, and apply the principles of ad, that can be the learning material for the course.

Different facilitators, so that helps us to involve and co create this learning communuty, so we are not always in the facilitator chair and the others learning. So maybe we could each take a lesson, or part of a lesson


Expanding core group?

Yerina summarized today’s trajectory:

Jacob has been facilitating the session and looking at our expectations and what works, what we are interested in finding different forms, the script evolving in the future. For instance, we have been talking a lot about AD without getting in to the nitty gritty, and getting deeper, having clearer agendas, questions, can prepare for. Suggestion is to create a course, co created among the people who participate, sometimes in participant role sometimes in facilitator role. It is a limited group and this lets us go deeper, and gives individual space. Also working on a project in the course in our community. AD not just from the theoretical but more experientially. To encourage continuity, have a registration and commit to 6-8 session in advance, and we can expect to see those people and that will create safety so we can go deeper, in a psychological sense.

Hugh asks who can take the next session and Wannette agrees to share some of the techniques and exercises she has learned and see where it goes.

Agreed that part of the process is 20 minutes or so, self reflection, what are we doing, how does it feel

Yerina agrees to put together guidelines on participation to set this up, drawing on netiquette so that people are safe, respected and can participate.

A closed FB group is also agreed to leave messages, and see what is happening.

June 27/17: Notes from Discussion with Margret who is teaching German to Afghan and Syrian refugees near Frankfurt. Our group consulted on how we might support her or start projects with refugees in our own communities:

·   Have people share their personal stories to create connection and also practice English. Very powerful. (L.)

·   In Toronto some restaurants have opened their doors to Syrian women who cook food and the public orders it. Women get together and talk to each other, removing isolation. They have translators helping them learn English, using their own knowledge and skills, and they are getting validated by the Canadians who are coming and buying their food. (A.)

·   Consider something that could get the community involved and engaged (A.)

·   Music can also be a powerful tool for community building (H.)

·   Talking circles can work and will help people share their story in a profound way. Use a talking stick and each person gets a turn to speak or not as they wish as the stick goes around the circle. People can talk for as long or as little as they like.  (C.)

·   Have a translator present so they can talk in their mother tongue (H.)

·   Could have a community event that brings together German community members and refugees to share food, music, and sharing (L.)

·   Jan’s explanation of talking circles: During talking circles important to be aware of cultural and religious dynamics. Could start talking circles with they only have to use one word of what they are feeling as they each have the talking “stick”. Pick something neutral to hold onto for the group. No cross talking. Only person who can talk is the person with the object being passed around. No one can ask questions, make comments, or give feedback to another person’s circle share. You may find out that for some individual’s cultural backgrounds that they do things like this or in a different way (J.)