As facilitators, we often talk about the consequences of applying SALT with a group. But what happens when SALT is the way of working within a group and you are part of that group? How does it feel to be part of such a group? I would like to give some personal reflections on this experience.

What happens when you deliberately support, appreciate, learn and transfer AND when you feel supported, you feel appreciated, you feel that others recognise that you have something that they can learn and you feel that others think that you have something that should be shared with the group?

First of all, it is worth stating the obvious: this is a very stimulating environment in which to work. When this way of working is combined with a common purpose (our dream), there is a sense of energy and momentum that I rejoice in being part of.

I think that there is more to it than this. Two things that disappear are endless meetings and pieces of paper that tie you down. The pieces of paper and the meetings that remain are usually about becoming crystal clear about what is to be done and ideas on how to do ‘what is to be done’. But the pieces of paper that constrain disappear. The meetings that are there to make sure that people are doing what someone else believes you should be doing disappear too.

There is another thing at a deeper level. You recognise that you are trusted and that therefore you trust. And this makes a huge difference. More paper disappears. More meetings disappear. And you begin to realise that you do not need to have all of the skills and talent. There are people around you with skills and talent and they will help you when you have a problem. And you need to be alert to the reality that your colleagues may need your skills and talent, because they recognise that they don’t have all the skills and talent they need to do their job. What was a daunting task becomes possible because you know that you are not on your own. You don’t have to have all the answers.

There are endless loops going on in this complex system and they are lost in an organogram or a job description or a grading structure. And nobody understands the full set of interactions that is happening and nobody needs to understand what is happening.  After a little time, it happens all by itself. Just as long as the way of working is founded on SALT.

I have been thinking about this for a while and I have started to add another burden onto this word SALT. The T is for Trust. And when it becomes the basis for a group of people working together, remarkable things happen. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a group.

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Comment by Autry Haynes on February 1, 2016 at 1:03pm

A piece from Charlotte Millar " Working with others means we increase our collective power and impact. But in order to work well together, there needs to be at least two basic conditions in place: high-trust relationships and some sense of shared strategy. If we don’t trust each other or understand each other’s approach to change, our efforts will most likely crack under pressure." in her article How to stop competing and start building community: System Change.

Comment by Autry Haynes on January 31, 2016 at 10:07am

Many thanks Phil, you have company..JL and i had similar discussions. Between partners, it is VERY important! This includes trust from the communities that we engage with, for US. While reputation and credibility counts (JL) TRUST is a very important element moving forward into the future. Thanks again for highlighting this important phenomena (^_^)

Autry

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