Thirty of us are participating in the January 2018 Dialogue Training Program with Paula Green under the auspices of Hands Across the Hills. This is our second morning of training, on Sunday the 14th, 9 am-1 pm, at the Leverett Crafts & Arts studios. Paula starts us off with a fast-moving name game that gets us on our feet, laughing, and warms us up.
Next, twelve of us sit in a circle with Paula as facilitator. She has crafted a question that will be the subject of the dialogue. Half of the rest of us will observe the twelve as they respond to the question, the other half will observe the facilitator and how she manages the group. We are learning how groups work, we are learning how difficult it is to facilitate dialogue!
The largest takeaway is that great restraint is needed to facilitate, to stay focused, to listen carefully, to hold the group, to deepen the conversation.
Our second major activity is to craft our own dialogue questions. We learn that good dialogue questions are open-ended, call for a personal response and fresh thinking, are capable of allowing deeper response. In all, we develop ten questions and we discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
My small group developed two questions, then proceeded to conduct our own dialogue using this one: What affect did the 2016 election have on you personally?
Next week, at the third and final training, we will delve into how all of us may use our training in our lives.