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A Lens of Relationship

July 26, 2009
the world surrounded by stars - seen through "a lens of relationship" - done with an iPhone app called TypeDrawing

the world surrounded by stars - seen through "a lens of relationship" - done with an iPhone app called TypeDrawing

One of the highlights of the last year was meeting John Lord and Peggy Hutchinson, authors of  Pathways to Inclusion: Building a New Story with People and Communities.   We had an excellent dinner together during which we really experienced good facilitation – I came home feeling like I’d had a massage.   What great conversationalists, so caring and articulate and careful of everyone around them…  

During the dinner we were talking about something and I was thinking “yes, I could fix that – I could do this and that and the other thing, I could meet with those people, we could make a plan, I could do a little training…” and John interrupted my planning-in-my-brain to ask “Who else should be there?”   Well, of course, I should be there.  I have letters after my name, I have experience, I have great feedback…   I could do this.  

“And then, when it’s done, you’ll be gone.   What about her?  Who could be there for her?”   Someone who cared about the person, not the problem, not the situation, but the actual woman; someone who could work with her to find a solution together and then implement that solution…   “I always ask, when I get called into these situations, who else should be here?”  John said. 

For me, it was a transformational moment and one that broadened and deepened the following day during his workshop as he led us through a series of exercises and thinking-throughs about seeing everything we do through “a lens of relationship.”    We can approach all our actions and interventions with the question of who else should be there, who can help, who can deepen their relationship with the focal person from being needed while they assist with problem-solving…   in all we do, who do we want to do it with and, if the result that we seek is a deeper, wider network of supports, who can we call?

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