Last night we hosted a community workshop called “Communicating Through Conflict” with Neighbor to Neighbor. This is the workshop I have spent the vast majority of my time with N2N working on. It is a workshop that Kevin has taught in the past but which he has also wanted to revise for a while. It was great fun last night to put it into play and actually teach the workshop.
Overall, I was pleased with the outcome and our evaluations were generally very positive. We struggled with time and definitely ran out of time at the end. I also wondered whether/how we met the particular needs of the participants. In some aspects, I noticed a lot of nods, smiles, and note-taking. At other times, I felt like they were checked out or that what we shared was too basic or redundant. On Wednesday we will lead the same workshop again with a community in Sweet Home and I am excited to see how that goes now that we’ve taught it once.
In other exciting news, I was asked to consider joining the OMA Board of Directors. Laurel (from NPCC) recommended me which was incredibly flattering. It was funny to tell Kevin this news as he’s the current president of the board and he was unaware that another member had approached me with the invitation. It was really great to talk about this idea with Kevin and I was incredibly grateful for the relationship and rapport we have built. We were able to have a very frank conversation about advantages and drawbacks to serving on the board. This morning I talked with Jacqueline, a committee member who is vetting potential candidates. I felt very comfortable talking with her and appreciated the degree to which my graduate studies have made me more well spoken. Between developing better writing skills AND feeling the pressure to really watch what you say as a mediator, I feel better able to communicate in ways that are concise, rich, and diplomatic.
Perhaps this will be a piece of making the transition from the shadows to the stage in my budding career. Along those lines, I am expecting to receive my newly ordered business cards soon! I decided that if I want to start being taken seriously as a mediator, I need to present myself as such. This image below does not capture the “sparkle” of the puzzle pieces as they will actually be but it is a good start.