sitting to hear

I sat the other day with about fifteen like minded people.

We were invited to share something we wanted more of in our lives.

We were sitting in a circle.

I have on several occasions been invited to share my story or something significant about me in a group environment. The most successful of these has always been in a circle, facing each other. It is no accident that village elders often sit in a circle; indeed many cultures do this. Sitting in circles, around a fire, in a yurt, on the desert floor. Children often do it in our primary schools at reading time.

Seeing the faces of the speaker and your fellow listeners builds a bond, draws you to the story, generates a trusting, safe environment. Nobody is in a position of power, authority, dominance. Or in a position of inferiority, subjugation, minority. Everyone is equal.

Strange then that in our places of work, many meeting tables are square or oblong and we are so often organised in rows. Face to face, back to back, side to side.

No wonder we find it hard to be heard.

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