Saturday, 7 July 2007

Despair within Conversational Riffs workshop

One of the cards within my Conversational Riffs workshop is despair. The "Black card of despair" as I call it.

Despair is a powerful concept and one we are all familiar with.

"This is pointless, we'll never get this sorted, here we go again..." and so on.

As I was presenting this on Wednesday I became aware that by raising the prospect of despair that I am in a way mapping out the future perils we should expect to encounter as we work in dispute resolution.

Just as a roadmap might show a perilous cliff, or (more colourfully) a treasure map might show an erupting volcano, if we are able to map out the future perils we will encounter then we give them a very different meaning.

Now, when I reach the cliff, or I see the fiery lava flow, my first response is not peril and a need to flee, but instead I am reassured that I am heading in the right direction. So, if I feel despair looming, I need not be overwhelmed and controlled by it, but rather I can think "Oh, there it is" and use that as a reference point as I continue to negotiate my way through the current conflict resolution.

Just a thought, and probably a good platform for a workshop game.

1 comment:

Alexander Massey said...

Sometimes, whether as a coach or therapist, I find it is helpful to support the client to sit 'mindfully' with their despair, to get to know its texture, its qualities, its anatomy. There is gold everywhere, even in despair, if we know how to be with it without letting it envelop us.