The main topic for today was generative conversations. David facilitated the group to examine helps and blocks to deep conversations as well as looking at the benefits of such interpersonal communication. He then went on to explain the various elements involved in both speaking and. listening in a generative way.
In generative listening, he explained that there are seven principles involved:
- Slowing down and noticing more of what is present
- Listening with all my senses
- Listening to the words and images chosen
- Listening to the emotions conveyed by the person who is talking
- Suspending judgement
- Noticing what I don’t understand or what triggers questions for me.
- What do I feel as I listen to what is being said – and why?
He then went on to explain the four aspects of generative speaking or responding:
- What I understand you say, what is clearer to me now.
- What I don’t understand and what needs clarifying.
- New ideas that have been triggered in me by what you said.
- What to me seems crucial but I am not hearing you mention.
A series of role plays followed the explanation, and the topics of cosmology and Eucharist became the content of the conversations, leading to the Brothers practising generative listening and speaking.
In the afternoon, the Edmund Rice Kibera Group came to meet the Brothers to prepare them for an immersion experience that will take place on Friday. This was a lively encounter and proved very helpful in orientating the Brothers for the forthcoming visit to Kibera.