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“How’s the weather inside your head today?” This was the introductory question during the ‘Taste of SALT’ workshop in Amsterdam in March 2013. The weather in my head? I was expecting to introduce myself by telling everyone where I’m from, my profession, passions and maybe, if everyone else did, my age too. This is how we are used to describe ourselves, or maybe even define ourselves. It creates certain angles how people can typify others.

But what does “I see clouds”, “the sun is shining” or “the mist is clearing away” tell about who you are? Actually, not a lot. It’s your current state of how you feel. But do we need to know more to get in touch with each other? After a few surprised and uncertain smirks, all of the participants of the workshop were able to express their state of mind. An apt way to introduce SALT.

Marlou, Joke and Boris of the Dutch Competence gathered interested people together in Amsterdam’s city centre to give a taste of the SALT approach. And to motivate us to join the three day SALT training in April 2013. Within only ninety minutes our ideas of how to empower others, and ourselves, had changed. Instead of our usual ‘I think this is your problem and this is the solution’ we were challenged to think about how we would encourage communities in a different, more positive way. How can we make people believe in their own strengths? And what can we learn from each other?

Many inspiring words were written down on the blackboard, like ‘dare to share your experiences and mistakes’, ‘open attitude’, ‘self-confidence and entrusting others’ and ‘appreciate and stimulate’. Ideas flowing from our own experiences. One participant shared how she was motivated to join a theatre company because she was asked to participate in its creative process. Another told us about why she got discouraged by her hockey trainer because he didn’t take to her and her team members’ ideas seriously. Common situations touching common human behavior. But telling us something striking about what empowers us and what dispirits us to believe in our strengths.

By adding more SALT to this discussion we all left this workshop with the sun shining in our heads. Starting with our common humanity we are ready to learn more about CLCP by Exploring Dutch Competence later this year.  


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