Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens – Recovery Event March 2015

On 30th March, participants from Skilled Workers, Skilled Citizens pioneer sites collaborated in hosting an event that asked ‘how might our public services be in recovery?’.

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A really diverse group of over 100 people came and experienced something of what it feels like to be part of a recovery movement, from the inside.

We began by meeting each other as human beings, not job titles. We circulated round different tables, and heard quick ‘seed’ talks from people in recovery and people from the wider SWSC network.

SWSC SRC pic 1After lunch, Kuladharini from Scottish Recovery Consortium led a ‘milling’ exercise. This invited us to slow down, and get in touch – in our bodies – with how it feels to genuinely connect with someone else.

After this, a whole new quality of conversation happened. People said they found the experience surprisingly ‘refreshing’, ‘gentle’ and ‘deep’.

The aim of the event was not to generate a list of immediate actions; but to open a space for reflection and perhaps to spark new kinds of connections, insight and intention.

Time will tell if it makes a difference. The event team will debrief at the end of April and produce a short video to share.

We will also report back in May back on any early feedback about what, if anything, people tell us the event has helped to spark.

Dialogue Masterclass – 11 March 2015

The Dialogue Community of Practice is delighted to be hosting a master class with Chris Rogers on Culture and Conversations on Wednesday 11th March 9.30am to 4.00pm in Central Hall, 2 West Tollcross, Edinburgh.

The ability to influence cultural change is critical to business success. And yet, research consistently shows that upwards of two-thirds of all formal change efforts fail to deliver the desired results. This suggests that something vital is missing from conventional approaches to change.

Chris argues that it is not formal strategies, plans and programmes that change an organisation. It is how people talk about them, make sense of them and what they do, or don’t do, as a result. Chris suggests we need to engage directly with the underlying dynamics of our organisations, if we are to lead change effectively.

Come along to hear Chris discuss the powerful impact that informal conversations, power relationships and political processes have on organisational outcomes. We will explore how we can work with this new change leadership agenda which Chris calls ‘informal coalitions’ and how we can shape culture by deliberately influencing the content and pattern of the hidden, messy and informal dynamics of organizational interactions.

This event is free and is for people aiming to enhance the quality of relationships through conversation about what matters most to us as we endeavour to improve public services in Scotland. As we begin a fresh year, with a fresh approach, we encourage previous participants to return and bring a colleague so that we continue to expand and energise the network.

To attend please click below and complete the form by 4th March 2015.

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The Fruits of Good Communication (by Jean Byrne)

I attended the Dialogue Community of Practice in Edinburgh on 26th March.  The theme for the day was The Dialogue Community of Practice Blossoms. 

In the morning, the metaphor of the dandelion’s seeds blowing in the wind captured the idea of growth and spreading the word.  I don’t know how you feel, but I know that my understanding and confidence in this approach is growing and I now feel better equipped to consciously incorporate it in my practice.

What impressed me in the quality of the conversations I was privileged to be part of was the depth of the connection between the members of the group.  How wonderful it is to feel connected in that way!  Conversation becomes real, respect is high and we are all valued in the way we wish to be valued.  The ability to challenge ourselves and others becomes easy.  The listening and learning deepen.

This is why Dialogue is so important.  Given the choice between conversations which get ‘stuck’ with people focusing on their own agenda and conversations which are generative and fruitful, with people working well together, most – if not all – of us would choose the latter.

The range of topics that are now the order of the day provide choice for those who are new to Dialogue and those who aren’t.  If you haven’t been to one of the events before, don’t be a stranger!  You can come along and join in the group that looks at what Dialogue is.  Or if you are a ‘frequent flyer’, come and deepen your awareness by looking at Dialogue in relation to teams and systems, health and social care integration, storytelling or emotion.

The next meeting is on Friday 9th May in Stirling.  Make it your springtime resolution to be part of this growing community!