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A breakthrough... I hope it continues!
The tension is dissipating and a new shared language is being built
I'm so happy that we have negotiated our way through the first bit of tension and I feel we did so due to taking the time to listen.
Not just the surface nod we often think is listening.. but actually opening up to listen and perceive each other's point of views. Sometimes not the easiest or comfiest process.. but I feel it has been hugely worthwhile!
Fingers firmly x for next week

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Comment by joanna Wheway on September 9, 2017 at 9:36

Hi Hazel, Hope all well with you :)

Thanks for commenting...I always know when you comment it will be to push my thinking to a deeper level! which I enjoy by the way:)

Thinking about what you have asked and trying to articulate what we did is a bit tricky...the process itself included lots of 'in the moment' decisions about what to say,how to say it and most importantly checking what I heard against other context..so it wasn't really a linear process...more a rapid hurdling around!

I guess what helped break the tension was a sudden unexpected deluge of people from a school who had come to learn about our journey to beyond green gold status...we where expecting the principal and a teacher...and what we got was nearly the whole school and community! This turned out to be a great way to grow us back together again...rather like a revisit of the chicken coop wrestling we did on teacher only day before the term started. However the dialogue that happened there was much more important...as the lynch pin for this school is the embedded nature of the enviro action cycle and how it is totally student owned...so I feel that this sudden need for my teachers and I to have to rapidly work together to articulate this meant we where forced to begin to discuss areas that had been holding tension for them...such as assessment, integration, personalising a learning pathway and how this all weaves together to facilitate success. 

I truly think that having that unexpected opportunity began the dialogue that continued throughout the week and as the week went on the depth of dialogue extended to include personal values, past experiences, and into a vast array of emotion charged areas...that we navigated by being honest and agreeing we would listen, pause and reflect on each others point of view before we responded.

So...main takeaway.....that relational trust is the anchor for all change...that it is fragile and takes time to build- almost one step forward and then another barrier appears that needs to be carefully navigated past.

I intend to have a very relaxing weekend and get my mind and body ready to guide the ship next week:)

Comment by Hazel Owen on September 8, 2017 at 15:06

Superb to hear that there has been a breakthrough, and that the tension is dissipating. Sometimes this sort of tension can be a catalyst for positive change, and by what you describe as a shared language being built, it sounds as though that is happening here (the storm before the calm).

You mentioned that you took the time to listen and to perceive each other's points of views. If you don't mind me asking, what was done to facilitate this deep listening? (I'm mainly asking because other folks might be in similar, tension-filled change situations, and would find your learnings useful). Also, what are your main takeaways?

Keeping my fingers crossed for your next week too! Hope you have a restful weekend.

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