Creating the Future's Faculty: Qualities & Proficiencies (Mtg #2: Summary)

Old time schoolroomAs we continue to home in on the qualities and proficiencies that will be required for faculty to teach on behalf of Creating the Future, our discussions become more and more rich.

That is not unusual. In our experience, when we talk about qualifications (i.e. indicators of qualities and proficiencies), that discussion is often rooted in fear (making someone prove themselves by data – a degree, years of experience, etc.) and perhaps worse for those doing the work, it is dreadfully dull.

When we talk about the qualities we are seeking, though, that is all about the humanity in our human nature. And THAT is almost always interesting beyond belief!

In our meeting on April 4th, we began with the questions posed in this post.   (You can also watch that meeting at that post.)  As you’ll hear throughout that meeting, we worked diligently to stay at the level of qualities and proficiencies, as well as conditions for success – and to refrain from discussing potential indicators of those qualities. Also as you’ll hear, that wasn’t always easy to do!

Herewith, a summary of those discussions, in preparation for our next meeting on May 31st (4pm ET). We hope you will join us (subscribe to the Walking the Talk blog and that meeting’s particulars will appear in your stream!) 

Instructors must be able to tell relevant stories
Qualities / Proficiencies / Conditions for Success:
• Life experience (i.e. they must have actual stories from their own experience)
• Ability to frame the story to make it relevant
• Stories of what worked smoothly AND when it was hard
• Ability to understand their audience / to be able to meet people where they are / to know what stories will be relevant to the audience
• Use the continuum to choose stories that will be relevant to the audience
• People need to be able to pull out their own stories, and to choose relevant ones – story banking, with potential lessons within the stories
• Themes – what are our stories about at the core?
•People must
    – Have stories
    – Find their stories (know they have them)
    – Choose which stories to tell, determine how to tell those stories in a way that proves their point (craft, frame)
    – Find the commonalities and differences between their stories (to prove similar and diverging points)
• Defining “relevant stories” as stories that
    – resonate, personal, see themselves in it
    – ring true
    – “You’re telling MY story!”
    – Story is not really about the story, but about how people change. When we talk about “stories” we are talking about stories of change.
    – Leave me with hope – build confidence
    – Brings out their wisdom (vs talking down to me)
    – The story invites them to participate – in the work and in the story!
    – Provide a different perspective on something that is familiar
    – Stories that are entertaining / personability
    – Instructor knows when to change gears if story is not resonating

Instructors must have language to talk about a collective sense of self.  Instructors must be able to link “small self” to “big self”, to help others see themselves as part of something bigger.
Qualities / Proficiencies / Conditions for Success:
• Language that moves from “me” to “we”
• Language that generalizes to a broader context – moving conversation from org to community
• Language of power and wisdom of EVERYONE, not just “people in power”
• Recognize and put stories and questions and situations in the context of community
• Jargon-free zone!!
• Language that meets people where they are
• Judgment – which language to use when
• The ability to hear the language of the group – the ability to listen for potential and reflects that back
• Conducive Conditions: Opportunity to practice with language that connects people
• Language will be a reflection of people who see the world through this lens
• Language that is their own
    – People need to have their own sense of language that fits in context
    – need to be able to identify that language
    – Choose language
    – connect language
• Connecting people back to their own sense of self through their mutual sense of self
• Our stories about the past and about what’s possible create our personal voice, and our language comes from that voice – that thing that feels like it is working through us
• Instructors must learn to listen for that language of “we” in their daily life
• In absence of the ability to get to know people ahead of time (e.g. a FlashClass), what conditions will lead to language that connects? See selves in story / webinar / engages them WITHOUT 2-way dialogue – continuum.
• Authenticity – to have the language, the instructor must first see him/herself as part of a collective whole before they can authentically use that language
• Must be able to share examples that the connectivity happens in real life all the time, we’re just conditioned not to see it.
• How to embed sensitivity to language into a recorded 20 minute class where we don’t know the audience ahead of time.
• Language as the indicator that the instructor has the proficiency of seeing small self in the context of big self.
• Language that reflects collective sense will be built into EVERY educational opportunity – from an article or FlashClass (20 minutes) to the Immersion course and everything in between?

Instructors must be able to demonstrate what community looks and feels like
Qualities / Proficiencies / Conditions for Success:
• Ability to paint a picture of what community looks / smells / feels like – what do you hear? What do you see?
• Someone who understands how to paint that picture together
• We remember visuals better than other ways – the image of the mountains and our feet
• Must understand what builds community
• Must have experience in building community (Example of a time when you built community) – can be online, it can be at a blog, it can be neighborhood organizing, family context – “example of time when you brought people together”

In our next meeting (May 31), we will delve into the Qualities and Proficiencies require for the remainder of our instructor abilities.
• Instructors must be able to demonstrate care and love for ourselves and one another
• Instructors must be able link the “being stuff” to the practical
• Instructors must be able to accomplish the predetermined educational outcomes for each class.    

In stepping back to reflect on our observations from this meeting, the group shared the following:
• The importance of asking what these qualities would look like from the perspective of the participant and not just Creating the Future
• How difficult it is to stay out of the “doing” and stay at the level of conditions and qualities
• The importance of the instructor finding his/her voice, and their ability to bring out the voices of each of the participants
• How to unpack and find qualities / proficiencies for the “Being” (vs having experience at DOING something)
• The fact that there are many paths to being an instructor, and that what matters is not the path but that the person be able to demonstrate their skills
• The importance of our all continuing to practice together, and that instructors be part of that ongoing practice. “We all need practice – that’s how we get better!”

Our next meeting will be on Friday May 31st at 4:00 pm Eastern Time. Subscribe and watch for the blog post at our Walking the Talk blog and join in the conversation there!

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