One of the highlights of my week has been spending time with a group of clergy committed to developing more leaderful communities and congregations, but facing the problems of working with those who don’t see leadership as their responsibility. How do we bridge that gap?
Leadership models have focused on individuals and individualism. New models of leadership inspired by “new science” focus on process and what goes on between people (this has coincided with a renewed awareness of the interplay and community of the Trinity). Other facilitators, like Viv McWaters and Chris Corrigan talk about developing play. The result is that leadership develops as a community activity rather than a one man (often gender specific) band.
Tomorrow is Cup Final Day. Kenny Dalglish and Roberto di Matteo, managers of Liverpool and Chelsea respectively will be giving their team talks. The winning team will most likely be the team that plays better together, and that is less like a collection of interviews. As we play together, we grow together. As we play together, we take more risks together. Chris Corrigan picks up the theme of football teamwork when he refers to a style of play called Tiki Taka:
A style of play characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession.” With Tiki Taka the ball is continuously passed between team members in a way that the whole team operates as one intelligent field, rather than sum total of talented individuals.
Is that it? Do we need a rich passage of interplay to become a successful team? Is it the short passes, working the channels, the give and go which turns an unresponsive group of individuals into one intelligent field and a leaderful organisation.
If you liked this post, you may also like this recent post: https://davidherbert.me/2012/05/03/leadership-lessons/
>Great quotes on education, teaching and learning:
An Einstein maxim is ‘Knowledge is experience – everything else is just information.’ We are now in an age where information is more abundant than could ever have been imagined…..students may emerge from an hour’s session with several thousands of words on equivalent in handout materials, downloadable files from an intranet or web. But it is still just information until they have done things with it to turn it into the start of their own knowledge about the subject concerned, and link it up to other things they already know …….. Perhaps at one level the quest to make learning happen in post-compulsory education boils down to how best can we help our learners turn information into their own knowledge.
From Phil Race ‘Making Learning Happen’
A teacher ought to be a stranger to the desire for domination, vain-glory, and pride; one should not be able to fool him by flattery, nor blind him by gifts, nor conquer him by the stomach, nor dominate him by anger; but he should be patient, gentle, and humbler as far as possible; he must be tested and without partisanship, full of concern for people, and a lover of souls.
from Amma Theodora – who was one of the early Christian monastics who went into the Egyptian desert during the third and fourth centuries, to live a life of prayer and contemplation. She had been married to a Roman tribune, and following her husband’s death, she retired to the desert to pray. Her wisdom was much sought after and a number of her sayings have survived, including this one about Christian teachers.
What a gift Brandy Agerbeck has as a “graphic facilitator”. I came across her website when I was preparing to lead a session on Belbin team roles. Here is the result of her listening and representing a session – which happened to be on Belbin’s team roles – I wonder what clues this offers us about what her preferred team role is. Maybe a plant or a monitor-evaluator?
>Lynn Walsh blogs from Australia as a facilitator. She wonders how possible it is to enter conversations/meetings/training without an agenda, and she refers to a meeting that she had recently with people who were prepared to begin with no agenda. She refers to several resource books which have gone on my wish list because I am so intrigued and she quotes Robert Poynton:
“Improvisers … distinguish between action and activity. If someone is changed by what happens they call it action. If not, it is activity. … Embracing change in this way is not an attitude many people habitually adopt. Yet how can an organisation learn, or create action, if the people in it don’t.”
Read more ….
Joanna Cox does a great job for us in our Adult Education Friday Mailing. She always concludes with something quotable – this week it is Jenny Rogers on Adult Learning:
Many discussions in adult, further, or higher education and training are far from being as free or equal as they need to be because tutors, often unconsciously, guide, manipulate and dominate proceedings. …….It is hard discipline as a tutor to keep you mouth shut, to listen, and to show signs of listening instead of talking. Most of us are good at talking and especially enjoy talking about our subjects. Not talking can be exquisite agony, as any experienced tutor will know.
We don’t think much about lsitening. In our churches skills are developed using mouths rather than ears. We talk about “good preaching”, “good singing”, “leading prayers” and “reading well”. We don’t talk about “listening” and we don’t bother thinking that much about how we can improve our listening (turning up the volume and installing a loop is about hearing, not listening). What can be really annoying is listening to a preacher who doesn’t listen – to God or his brothers and sisters. It seems only fair to me that if a preacher is inviting us to listen to him/her, s/he should return the favour.
I came across “Nonviolent Communication” aka “Compassionate Communication Skills” the other day. Marshall Rosenberg created Nonviolent Communication and is Founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication. Here is a clip on nonviolent communication.