Friday, June 16, 2006
"How can I get them to really hear me, understand what I am trying to say from the heart about giftedness?"
"It's easy. You just have to meet them where they are."
It's been three months since that conversation and I'm still trying to figure out what she meant, and more importantly, how to start experimenting with the concept.
Over the past year, I've been meeting people where they are by meeting them within the existing structures that are set up to serve gifted people. This has meant working with schools, parent associations, corporations, and self-selected groups of gifted adults. In order to get the concepts across to them, I've mastered their particular argot - the words and phrases that they are comfortable with, the workshop designs that fit into their schedules. It's been both fascinating and frustrating.
I'm starting to wonder what it would be like for me to set up a new structure that really made sense to me, and hopefully by extension to other gifted people. I enjoy designing coaching relationships with single clients, but designing with an entire culture usually means that I am the one who has to do all the compromising. What if I could choose the cost and length and learning objectives of my own workshops? It would be great, but then how would I be meeting people where they are?
It's got my brain tied up in knots. Usually I find the best thing to do with a block like this is put it on the back burner, meaning I push it to the back of my mind and let it bubble on its own for a while. Going at a problem more indirectly frees up my waking attention, and sometimes produces superior results. Let's hope this is one of those times!
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An incisive bit of advice.
What you are looking for is more commonly described as a
" teachable moment". You are not in need of a new structure but of techniques to precipitate a psychological event where you connect so effciently as to have momentarily acquired 100 % of their attention. Then you drive home your point.
Demonstration works better than words, though words can subsequently enhance the demonstration. Brevity is best - look how long you have been pondering your coach's few words :o)