Wisdom from Cross-Pollination Stories
CP experimental session #2:
In this session we shared stories of cross-pollination and then reflected on those stories, asking ourselves questions like: what did the story reveal about CP? What about the context made it work well/not work well? Etc. It was a lively and deep discussion, enjoyed deeply by all.
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"S" shared a story about talking with an extended family member while visiting his farm in Iowa(?)… someone with very different politics and life view, but through the conversation was able to open and learn about a different point of view with farming, religion, etc. Deep stuff!
"K" shared about working with various intentional communities, and learning how to share stories and experiences from one to the other.
"B" shared about working with a volunteer community in the Cleveland Zoo.
I shared about going to a salon at someone’s house and bridging the world of green consumers to deep historical context of institutional oppressions around race, class, environment, countries, etc.
Some of our notes:
· finding a point of linkage to establish trust and rapport: start there (even if it seems tangential)
· having a base of some common knowledge allowed him to see that I shared a common interest—an opening, connection
· active listening: asking lots of questions
· used sci-fi (alternate reality) as safe common ground to explore new ideas—hypothetical and non-threatening
· personal confidence: I had done enough personal work so that I didn’t need to be heard or affirmed. I found ego satisfaction in my role as a listener (you don’t have to be enlightened or selfless)
· lack of judgment in listening
· valuing all the steps it takes in personal growth
· having fun with it
· go to their experience, see the work from their view before processing… I want to know their space
· everyone love to talk about themselves!!
· Reveal parts of yourself that link with them
· I use all of my skills at different times: agile applications
· Do work together (wash dishes, work on the farm, etc) so you don’t have just an intellectual, verbal, linear experience.
· What’s appropriate in each setting and space is different—adopt to the norms and show that you can follow the rules… when you recognize when the norms change you become a co-creator and show honor and respect
· At end exchanged seeds and salmon… when I saw that he’s a reader and had established trust I planted a new idea by sending the book, Omnivore’s Dilemma. He was ready to receive it then (and had hinted that he believed that his ag technique wasn’t great).
· Link created even without a gift—he could see that he could associate with a “lefty”
· Linking old/familiar ideas or experience to new ones—building from known
· Being a mirror
· Danger of evangelism when sharing new ideas—so let folks have their own reaction to your stories
· Using one’s own self stories as vehicle for connection
· Leave them asking for more
· Evangelists want to convert but CPs want people to stay in their own groups but feel connected to others