Tools for Meaningful Conversations 3/4 July 2018 – Day One

Following the recent introduction to the Art of Hosting, Georgina, Fausto, Jose and Paulette came to share with us their knowledge and experience.

Day 1 was described as the day for self discovery with Day 2 being facilitated by those of us who volunteered to do so.

bstWe started with the usual check in, using a “talking piece”. No one ultimately holds the power. The talking piece can be returned to the centre and claimed or passed around the circle.

bstWe agreed a contract for our behaviour towards each other.

Then we paired up for Story Telling in which we were invited to be open with our “buddy”, then fed back on our reflections of the process.


Jose explained rather than start with the surface of the ice burg – the tools used for CO meet ups, we start at the bottom of the framework and work up. A solid foundation is needed to build an effective plan for the event. Consider:

Who am I? Why am i doing this? What are my values and principles?

Am I working with the needs of the participants in mind or to satisfy my own needs?

davWorld Cafe – Sense Making 


Advised to:

  • Contribute our thinking but allow space for all to speak
  • Listen to understand
  • Speak with your heart
  • Slow down in order to move faster

we spent 20 minutes at three tables, where we all considered:


The final 20 minutes was to evaluate the common themes:



Authentic Connection (green) examples

Shared goals & beliefs, social inclusion, feeling valued, mutual respect.

Disconnection examples

Negative personality traits, poor communication, lack of understanding the person.

Chaotic Space

Jose asked for eight volunteers. For the first game, he gave the group a ball and said score goals. For the second game, he grouped into teams, appointed a manager but the players were only allowed to action specifically what their manager directed them to do/ For the final game, he kept the eight in two teams but removed the managers. All were asked for their observations after each game and at the end Jose arranged the post it notes:


Chamos is a Greek word meaning destructive chaos – where everything is new – constantly changing. This experiment demonstrated with control, there was frustration – no space for new ideas and with no instructions there was chaos.

How can we support people who have control to move left to the centre and those in chaos to move right? This enables the people in power to support great potential.

The final activity was looking at Powerful Questions and the responses they evoke. Why can sound judgmental – a demand for justification. A softer, “I’m curious, why did you decide to……” sounds less confrontational. Why – can ask about the person’s value system and motivation. How and What – practical questions. When, who and Where – implementation, specifics and Which – different alternatives but limited options.




  1. Hi Sue

    Thanks for doing such great job at recording the workshop. It looks as though I missed a really informative meet up but am thankful that you have shared the harvesting with everyone.

    Kindest regards


    If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Rob Bryant
    Neighbourhood Coordinator: Age Friendly Nottinghamshire
    Communities Team
    Place Department
    County Hall
    West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7QP
    m. 07387257894
    w. 0115 977 2212
    The Nottinghamshire Help Yourself site is a partnership between health, the voluntary sector and Nottinghamshire County Council to bring information and advice together in one central place – so people can find the information they need easily. Please take a look…
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