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Facilitating a SALT conversation is an Art and a Science

Watching Lakshmi Venkatraman speak with the auto driver, the other day was enthralling. We were heading to a meeting together. The morning’s peak hour traffic was true to its definition. A biker crossed our path, in a rush to reach his destination. This evoked an expletive from our auto driver. And set the ball rolling. It started with Lakshmi acknowledging the comment. As the conversation progressed, I noticed that she was asking, what I thought were stereotypical questions about the driver's lives.  But, I soon realized, these were just a start. Interestingly, she weaved her questions in and out of the conversation, and at the end of the 12-minute ride, we knew the young man's driving life. The questioning didn't appear planned but seemed to be generated from the man's responses.

Reflecting, I realize that this art gets refined with practice. The science behind facilitating a conversation is to do with the process of listening, quickly comprehending, and stimulating with the next question. A SALT interaction, unintended in its purpose, as in the case of Lakshmi’s chatter with our auto driver, can be educative. One needs to add this to the repertoire of training oneself in SALT practices.

I had had conversations like this in public transports, despite the noise of the never-ending traffic. But, for the first time, I realised, that “watching” a facilitation can be so stimulating and fun. Kudos, Lakshmi 

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on February 29, 2024 at 7:05pm

Great insights Padma! What did you learn from Dr Lakshmi's facilitation? I have learned so much from seeing someone facilitate. Am happy to see your profile pic:)

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