Connecting local responses around the world
“But isn’t that just the normal behaviour?” asked one of the students in response to the explanation of the SALT way of thinking and way of working. Together with Boris and Marlou, we went to the Hogeschool of Amsterdam on the 29th of September to transfer CLCP to a group of 17 students.
Following a course in Community Development, they are currently in full preparation for their final projects. One student will be going to the Philippines in November for a community project with sex workers, whereas others will stay in Amsterdam to contribute to the handling of the immigration wave on a local level. As a practice on how to approach communities as a team, the class went for SALT visits all over Amsterdam the week before our second CLCP session. They were overall very successful, with some teams getting more out of it than others. One team visited the Ghanese community in Amsterdam where they observed and learned a lot about their discipline, community spirit, and celebrative atmosphere! Other teams found it an issue that they had no concrete action planned when visiting the community as they didn’t get to meet the core members. Instead they met the supervisors and got an insight of the community from an exterior point of view. At first this was seen as a disappointment by the teams, but when during our session they realised that what they really did during their visit was adopting a SALTy behaviour in its purest form, the disappointment was replaced by a sense of pride. It already seemed so natural to them that they couldn’t imagine behaving otherwise!
Personally, I attended this CLCP session to share what I learned during my SALT experience in Mauritius this summer. Together with a friend of mine, we went to learn from and contribute to the projects of Le Pont Du Tamarinier (LPDT), a Mauritian NGO that provides social housing to families in need, and accompanies them in their new lives in the villages. Together with Autry we got the opportunity to assist several SALT sessions in two villages in Tamarinier. The team behind LPDT was an extremely enthusiastic one, with SALT running through their veins. I explained at the Hogeschool how this team ran their After Experience Reviews, which was one of their favourite parts of the approach. Always with tea and biscuits, this would be their moment of constructive causerie and peek of excitement. From the students of the Hogeschool I learned how obvious and natural this step might seem at first, but how once they applied it to their own SALT visits, they realised that this step isn’t that evident all.
Merci Lois pour ce partage,
Ce qui semble simple et évident, est toujours le plus difficile à appliquer dans notre vie quotidienne.
To me it was quite logical that our student friend thought it was very normal as we explained it through using their own experience of what works best in working with communities. It's labelling these behaviors that allows you for the first time to become conscious and look at others how they (eg listening on the 3rd level) do this. Then, and only then the world opens up.
I remember when I did my first Self assessment on SALT. I scored myself quite high, the more aware I became of these behaviors, the more examples I saw of facilitators in the Constellation, the lower I scored myself, so the more learning space I found there to be.
Hi JL & Phil,
If you ask me it is because people take a SALT type of behaviour for granted. Precisely because it is so natural, it is hard to identify the absence of this behaviour as the source of a problem.
We answered by giving an example of a case where adopting such a behaviour is apparently not so evident, and congratulated him for having done so naturally during his interview. In this particular case, the student was interviewing a worker of the Salvation Army in Amsterdam, and he found that adopting such an appreciative behaviour was easy for him.
To be honest, I think that he felt like we were just pointing out the obvious... And I didn't know how to explain to him that it is about more than just that.
In the same vein as Phil's question:
Why is something so natural not evident at all?
"But isn't that just normal behaviour?" I remember being asked the same question by a young man. How did you go about giving an answer?
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