Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back From the Great Beyond

Foundations finished last nite with the typical debrief, which, typically, was anything but brief, but fortunately was also typically worth staying awake for. It's good to be back home and chilling out. Mim and me are watching Lost in Translation which is not impressing me anywhere near as much as I'd hoped. For a Bill Murray movie it's not brilliant. Havent turned it off yet tho. One of my favourite movies is Fight Club. Kind of random tangent but Ill run with it: Fight Club has 8 rules...
-the first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club
-the second rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club
-third rule; some one says stop, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over
-fourth rule; two guys to a fight
-fifth rule; one fight at a time
-sixth rule; no shirts, no shoes
-seventh rule; fights will go on as long as they have to
-eighth and final rule of fight club; if this is your first night, you have to fight

Now for the random link. Stevie and I were renaming some of the units in the course for fun about half way through, then on Friday we did an activity called broken squares where you split into groups of three or four and each group is given some pieces to a square but the pieces they have at the start dont make a complete square. This is where it gets interesting (and more importantly where we link in to fight club)
-the first rule is you do not talk
-the second rule is you do not talk
-the third rule is there is to be no communication of any form with members of other groups
-fourth rule is you may give away pieces but you cannot take them from other groups
-fifth rule is you cannot put pieces you are giving away "in place", you must put them beside the group
-sixth rule; no laughing
-seventh rule; the activity will go on as long as it has to
-and the eighth and final rule; the task is not complete until every group has a completed square of the same size
"Silence Starts Now. Begin"

I find the activity most fun as one of the "policemen" who patrol the room citing the rules to those who would break them, but this time I was put in a group which is always an interesting experience in communication and team work. Innevitably people miss the most important rule and the point of the whole exercise: the task is not complete until every group has a completed square of the same size in front of them. And so some see it as a race, some see it as a game (and throw pieces away to the despair of those competing in the race) but the real aim is to communicate with your team and to then help the whole group to complete the task. There was a moment where I was trying to communicate the task and what I wanted to do to our teams "racer" (who was very earnestly trying to complete the task as fast as she could all by herself, bless her) and she didnt get it at all it turns out but she must have picked up some of my intention and let me take the pieces to the group that needed them. That group disposed of the pieces without even looking at them. Not the point, but hey.

Then we have the most important part of the process: the debrief. You learn thru reflection on experience, so we discussed both in our small groups and as a whole group how we had found the exercise. And then our "racer" spoke up, and I hadnt realised the significance of the previously mentioned moment until this point, and described the moment from her side and said that even though she had not a clue what I was trying to communicate the fact that I kept at it and didnt just do what I wanted to do but waited until I had her "permission" almost had made her feel valued and shown her more of the point of the exercise. A little bit of patience and love is a huge gift to any team. I only wish I could get it right a little more often.

Back in the Posse House. Frustratingly, have left my fone charger in the Great Beyond and so am cut off from the world except via the internet. Strange, strange feeling, had not realised until this point how much a part of my life it has become. A little bit scary. Challenge for the week: see how you go without your fone for a day or two.

See You on the Dark Side

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