Like a mountaineer…
- 19 septembre 2012
- Posted by: ideadmin
- Category: News
Sometimes I feel like a mountaineer.
I’ve climbed to the summit and I know that the view from the top is breathtaking.
My problem is: how to convince others to come up there with me?
Climbing mountains takes strength and courage. It’s a risk. Anything can happen.
Down in the valley it’s safe and warm. It’s a comfort zone.
And many people want to stay there.
Giving an interpersonal communications course is something very similar.
You’re asking people to go places they’ve never gone before, to take risks they don’t want to take, to discover things about themselves they often don’t want to see.
So you push and shove, you drag and pull, you provoke and encourage…until you finally get them to the top of their mountain.
And they see.
And they understand.
South Africa’s Major Seminary is in the city of Pretoria, just north of the gold mines of Johannesburg. The seminary itself is a human gold mine. It’s filled with talented, creative, motivated young men from the most varied backgrounds and experiences, all focussed on one objective: to serve the Church and the world as a priest.
They know theology and philosophy better than the ABC – but when I asked what communication means to them, many shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads.
Communication isn’t a mountain they’ve ever thought of climbing.
What’s the point (some asked)?
We’ve already been there (some claimed).
What can you show us that we haven’t seen before (some challenged)?
And so the journey began.
It took four days, working morning, afternoon and evening.
It was what we call a full immersion experience.
Some came willingly, others dragged their feet, but no one (except the staff) stayed behind. We did exercises, played games, watched movies, and produced video clips.
They learned how to decode symbols, analyse images, construct a commercial, deconstruct language, and unravel the mysteries of non verbal messaging.
They examined and evaluated their own effectiveness on video, and came to some surprising conclusions concerning who they are – and why.
That’s when they first saw the view from the top…and understood:
Communication is empowerment, enlightenment, knowledge and strength.
But don’t take my word for it.
Next time, come up the mountain and see for yourself.
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