Dialogue - silence LO10115

Denis Cowan (cowandp@gil.com.au)
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 10:36:20 +1000

Replying Learning to Dialogue LO10088 Keith Cowan

>Meditation is an example of effective silence. It often occurs will doing
>"mindless" tasks like mowing the lawn or driving alone in the car with the
>radio OFF. It enables the brain to become aware of the subconscious and
>can be extremely useful for new insights in problem solving.

G'day. I find silence most useful, as a facilitator, when I am working
on power issues in groups. Quite often people come into workshops
expecting me to perform for them. I find silence the most successful
method for the transition from

"Denis - you are the facilitator - the outcome is your responsibility !"


" It was a waste of time getting you to facilitate, you do and say
nothing - we are getting nowhere"


"We are in this together - what are we here for and what are we going to
do about them -??)"


"Denis - what we need you to do is X !"

The downside:

I operate off my intuition and feeling. So only use silence when my
intuition advises me to. I would say that in all workshops there is a time
to use silence but the amount can range from 1 minute to hours. In fact i
ran an advanced facilitation course (1 day duration) where I did not speak
for 7 hours and even then I only did because it got too much for me and
guilt got the better of me.

Once silence has been chosen the key issue is not too speak to early. You
can never speak too late. In fact - what if facilitator's never spoke ??

People's first reaction is that they think you are using silence as a tool
against them (a sales trick). It can take people several minutes to
several days to realize that empowerment and ownership comes from within.



denis cowan , brisbane , australia. fax ** 61 7 32681869
email: cowandp@gil.com.au,


Denis Cowan <cowandp@gil.com.au>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>