Additional Points to Ponder Following our English SALT training

As I am rereading the summary of our initiation weekend, I realize that there were two learning items that I had not included in the initial report.

The first reflection was around the envelopes.  While the core of our work consists of identifying our strengths and those of others, I believe we need to be mindful not to create an artificial and contrived exercise around the envelopes.  In other words, the observations should be stimulated but not forced.  Otherwise the danger is to give each other labels of a different kind (e.g., cheerful, thoughtful, warm, mindful, etc.).  I believe there is a fine line we need to navigate in our instructions, to remain as authentic as possible while also creating awareness about seeing our own and each others’ strengths.

The second observation emerged when I was explaining the CLCP cycle.  Ale, one of the participants remarked that in fact, rather than a cycle, the process, once fully performed, actually is an upward spiral, as with each iteration we reach higher levels of community (or personal competence).



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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on February 12, 2018 at 8:43pm

I think its an excellent observation- don't label the person but appreciate the act/comment. Thanks. I am thinking how to execute in facilitation. Thanks a lot Anita.

Comment by Anita Sheehan-Nutz on February 12, 2018 at 6:25pm

Dear Rituu, all, 

The exercise I am talking about is one that we have started in Belgium:  At the beginning of every training or intervention (if not too large), we have everyone put their name on an A5 envelope and hang them (the envelopes--not the people :-)) on a clothes line.  We then invite participants to notice qualities and strengths that we have observed in others and put these strengths on a piece of paper and then stick these notes into the envelope of the respective person.  The caveat here is that we should avoid "labeling" people in well-intentioned, but potentially detrimental way. Thus, instead of putting down the word "smart" it might be better to say "I appreciated your thoughtful comment on . . . "  The big idea here being to express how a certain quality has made you feel, which is different from attributing a subjective label onto someone.  Not sure this is clear, and doing it this way is definitely more challenging, but in the end a lot more authentic and real. 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on February 10, 2018 at 9:46pm

Glad to learn from your experience. Please would you explain about this envelope exercise? Thanks

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