Once again, this year at the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education we have been busy and have exciting projects underway in our Refugee & Asylum Seeker area; our Indigenous programmes and our Pacific Calling Partnership. At weekly staff meetings all staff and volunteers hear something of the action in each team, but we can find ourselves focussed and busy within the “silos” of our own project.
For our Staff Development this year we have taken up the challenge to try moving beyond this mindset. Articles on “Generative Listening” in the Oceania Province Weekly News sparked our interest. For a number of weekly staff meetings Brother Gary Wellsmore led us in conversations about our experiences of listening. Many staff have extensive experience as counsellors, in schools, parishes, Lifeline, Family Services etc, so listening skills were not new. But in the idea of Generative Listening we heard of new possibilities,
“where listening becomes much like a
spiritual practice, connecting listener and speaker to
something greater than themselves. When we listen
generatively, change happens at a deep level.”
For our Staff Development day in early May, Br Ted Magee from the Province Leadership Team facilitated a very stimulating session where we heard more about and practiced together the steps to Generative Listening and Generative Speaking. We learned that generative listening can be a powerful tool in shifting the way we engage and relate as an organisation. We are trying out new ways of working together in our meetings, and hopefully building on the enthusiasm that the experience has generated among us.
Communications Project Officer │ ERC Homebush