New: 1-Day SALT Experience at Generation Why Not?

Summer time and the living is easy, that’s how the old song goes.  Well, one thing that was not so easy is to gather enough participants for a 2.5 half day SALT initiation training in English.

However, nothing is lost.  Together with Radmila, the creator of Generation Why Not?  (Check out the Facebook site here) we decided to give a 1-Day overview with the emphasis on What Makes us Human?  

Needless to say, it was much easier to find enthusiastic participants for a 1-Day experience, two of whom signed up the night before.

And speaking of the participants, never have we had in our English SALT trainings such a motley and mixed group of people with different backgrounds:  3 business consultants, 1 HR assistant, 3 Generation Why Not? aficionados, 1 free radical :-), 1 internal business coach and one Palestinian refugee.  What better group than this to find out what unites us?!

Laurie, Radmila (who had attended a 3-hour SALT workshop before) and I decided that we would focus purely on the human aspects, at least for the first part.

Following a short explanation of how the Constellation came about (upon which one participant suddenly had a Eureka moment:  he remembered that 16 years ago, he was at the AIDS conference in Bangkok where Jean-Louis spoke!!!) we continued by playing with a variety of exercises:  

  • Presenting ourselves with personal objects, or a Dixit card (Anita choose a card explaining how she is trying to get rid of her masks, a theme that recurred throughout the day for everyone)
  • Reflecting on and feeling our labels;

  • An exercise “stolen” from Reauthoring the World:  If you were a T-shirt, what would you look like? (in pairs)
  • And finally our standard  paired interviews, around the question on a moment when we felt most human.

We made sure that after every step we tried to deepen the experience by always checking in what resonated with the participants.  The resonance each time was palpable and we noticed how the group slowly but surely fused together.

Just before lunch, we revealed the SALT cycle and explained the concept of a SALT visit.  And then, with perfect timing, our SALT guest showed up:  Marina Aubert, the co-founder of FitMyNest, a modular co-housing project in Belgium.  She stated several times that without SALT, her project would not have gotten off the ground.  She was so emphatic that it left a visible impression on the other participants.  Lunch was then the perfect opportunity for participants to chat with her and ask her questions.  She was available for more questions after lunch, but then had to be off to fit her nest . . .

The afternoon was spent experiencing the next steps of the cycle.  Laurie proposed that we could all focus on the common dream of making the world a bit more human.  Everyone had the chance to draw their own dream and then share in a group of 6.  We did not have the time to combine all the dreams to one, but stayed a while with the key elements that had come out of the individuals’ dreams and marvel at the similarities and enjoy some of the creative deviances (sports, music, etc.).

We then briefly explained the concept of practices.  Amazing how quickly the group grasped it, and in no time did we come up with 6-8 of them.

One of the most wonderful moments came when we did a self-assessment of one of the practices:  “We spread more love in the world.”  One of the participants had indicated that she had to leave at 4.30 pm sharp, but what do you know?  The conversation that was generated during the explanation of why we were at the level chose in our self-assessment were so captivating that she did not notice the time pass.  We dove deeply into the subject of what giving love means and how each of us can do it so easily.  Hint:  Just smile at people (and give them hugs) :-).

We concluded by a compassion exercise where everyone ended up hugging the person in front of them and a group huddle in the end.

What we learned:

We had feedback on the label exercise.  Some people were so happy with the labels they put on them that the desired effect (of relief) when they took off the label was not really there or not as strong.  The next time(s) we could give the instruction to put on either neutral or less desirable labels to have the participants feel the effect of tearing up and freeing themselves of their labels more strongly.

Overall, Laurie and I think that even in a 1-day workshop we can convey the full power of SALT and make people curious on how this can be implemented in organizations and in their own lives.  The overall feeling was that everyone left satisfied and with a whole bag of new learnings, one of the greatest human needs.

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Comment by Anita Sheehan-Nutz on June 27, 2018 at 2:41am

Hi Rituu, 

We did not have the time to debrief on the T-shirt question, but people said that they loved the exercise and some said that they had found quite a few things they had in common--fostering even more connection. . . . 

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on June 26, 2018 at 9:55pm

This seems to have been a great event. What were the responses to the T-shirt question? Well done Laurie and Anita!

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