I have been preparing for the next Tribe and TAPs workshops lately and I am curious about the connections between them - Power Dynamics, Recognition, Relationship and Resilience, Group Dynamics and Working with Change. I have been exploring speech patterns, interpersonal dynamics, unconscious processes and states of mind. I have re-connected with Ware's work on Contact Doors - how as practitioners if we listen carefully we can hear clues in the client's speech patterns and choice of words and we can respond in ways which are helpful, and avoid the 'trap' door - which is not helpful at all.
As I write this in the middle of October, there is a lot going on in the world ..... which is putting it mildly. There is such uncertainty, confusion and downright scare that we need now more than ever to be able to dive into our resources to support ourselves to get through it.
We need people in our lives who will listen to us as we share our fears and concerns. Those of us who are 'helping professionals' - teachers, coaches, managers, consultants, health professionals etc - also need to apply active listening skills in order to be able to judge when a client (or a friend) is getting close to a crisis of a personal nature so that we can be of most support. And sometimes it is more appropriate to challenge, to encourage our client to distinguish between reality and fantasy, or to help them remember their skill set, their personal attributes. To help them get back on track. Listening is a very powerful skill! Without careful listening we miss what is being said 'in plain sight' (to mix my metaphors .... or something).
If we recognise the speech patterns of let's say a person with a Please People Driver, with practice we can 'meet them where they are' (feelings), and then if appropriate encourage them to stretch into a target place (thinking) and may be the work will be accomplished here. Or perhaps it can be taken further, Ware calls it the trap door (for those with Please People that would be 'behaviour' - if the practitioner goes straight to this the client is likely to shut down. However, if you match (feelings) move (to thinking) and then get to where the work needs to be done (behaviour) then that 'trap' door becomes the 'developmental door' - a place to expand into and where the client needs to focus.
Knowing what to listen out for, identifying the driver speech patterns and having a mechanism for progress enhances our ability to encourage personal growth.
And fundamental to that skill is that of listening - a vastly underrated and overlooked interpersonal gift.
Four or five years ago I discovered the Zoom platform, and before that, Skype had revolutionised the way I was working. I had been conducting supervision and coaching online with Skype since 2008, but Zoom gave me the flexibility I was looking for when running online workshops.
I ran a series of workshops for a Polish group I was running at the time. It was a little tricky to setting into the dynamics of the process of being online with a group, working through a translator and settling my nerves around the technology, but it worked fine.
IN 2016 Iaunched TA Tribe. My intention is to make TA training and supervision accessible to all who want it for their professional and personal development. One of the great joys of my TA journey has been the opportunity to visit a range of countries whether that be to run programmes or workshops at conferences. I have trained in cultures as diverse at that found in St Petersburg to that found in Nashville, USA. I recognise this as a privilege and also recognise that many are not able to travel as widely, be that for mobility, caring responsibilities or financial constraints.
These days of course, we are also painfully aware of climate change issues. Working online is people and planet-friendly!
And then along came Covid 19.
The obvious approach for me was to convert my TA training to an online offer. And it is interesting, as I am sure you have also noticed, that out of crisis comes creativity - which brings about change, and in many ways, change for the better. 2020 is a year of change for me and through 2021 I will consolidate that change.
The online Tribe programme for those new to TA or for those wishing to brush up on their theory is now available for 2020/21 and starts with the academic year in September.
Tribe Advanced Practitioners group (TAPs) also starts in September, and is a monthly, two-day workshop at Diploma level for those preparing for CTA or DTA Diploma qualifications.
I am looking forward to working with new people, forming a new group and welcome you to TA Tribe!