Sunil presented a very imaginative PowerPoint on the Standards of Presence. Standards of Presence offers some valuable guidelines for anyone engaging in the learning process. A summary of the ten principles follows:
- Maintain confidentiality
Acknowledging that the bed rock of confidentiality is trust whatever is shared remains within the context and space it was shared. Trust built on a non-judgmental and positive energy that honours and values the magnificence of each person.
- Have an open and ‘innocent’ mind and heart
We are like parachutes…we work when we are open. This involves honouring values of childlike trust, humility, wonder, open eyes and heart, curiosity to learn new things, ask questions and show openness to try new things. This involves having a beginner’s mind and a readiness to engage fully in an experience that can inspire and challenge us. (not suspicious or having a know it all attitude, listening to self and others, expressing fears from a childlike stance )
Practice a positive focus
His intention is an invitation to have a positive mindset in relation to persons, situations and learning experiences; looking out for and acknowledging the positive, expecting positive outcomes, treating others in a positive way by consciously focusing on the strengths of the other and the positive aspects of a situation
- Connect at a heart level
It takes us from thinking to a feeling stance, operates from the heart, involves listening and connecting with the heart/feelings, connecting with the other centre to centre, entering into the heart of what is happening and what is being communicated while upholding values of compassion, empathy from each other. This presupposes getting out of limiting and judgmental mind, taking and accepting persons as they are so that a space is created for persons to honestly share their heartfelt experiences.
- Claim my experience as my own.
Connecting with oneself and honouring ones personal experience, making choices that are for my highest good, living responsibly, taking ownership, using I statements while communicating, and making deliberate choices to enter fully in the experience, allowing for self transformation,
- Listen deeply and with honor
It involves respect, focusing on the others words, body language, what is said and not said….to re-see or see with fresh eyes, listening to understand the other’s point of view, seeking clarity when things are not clear, offering feedback to clarify and confirming if what was heard was what was communicated, creating a space where a person feels totally listened to.
- Give only authentic acknowledgment and support.
This involves genuine, honest, compassionate not counterfeit feedback and support, positive, sincere and honest feed back without exaggeration, appreciating people and taking care to notice and provide positive feedback keeping in mind the cultural nuances, involves also the sensitivity to notice and understand how much feedback to given situation.
- Fully receive acknowledgment and support.
This calls for genuine appreciation. It involves connecting to a sense of gratitude within and a verbal acknowledgement for support received, a willingness to err on the side of acknowledging rather than fearing being misunderstood, aware that we lose nothing for being good, a conscious practicing of becoming more and more conscious of what others are doing for us and acknowledging it both in words and deeds, taking care at the same time, not to overdo it. This will facilitate not taking people for granted and making giving positive feedback a way of life.
- Practice self care and self responsibility, and allow others to do the same.
Doing to others what we would like them to do to us….involves live and let live attitude, self responsibility involves responsibility and ownership for our actions, Regular Spiritual recharging will create the space for caring for oneself and will facilitate the joy of living life to the fullest and the ability to serve whole heartedly.
- Be fully present.
Presence is at the heart of what we are about. This involves seeing life as a whole experience, being in the flow as we honour life as a continuous sacred and safe place, upholding the values of balance being fully present, awareness of and responsibility towards what we want to do more of and less of.