By The Late Ron Bartlette
Really, said the tongue to the ear. Two ears, huh, said the tongue. Alone, I put down people or raise them up. I can make songs, poems and stories sound like brittle sand paper or as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The tongue loved its power and delighted in how people always turned as it had the verbal floor.
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How long before the listeners are on their cell phones texting, or participants are talking in hushed voices to one another. Worse yet, they’re giving the approving nod to the instructor as if their agreeing with them, meanwhile their nodding is simply to keep themselves awake or at least keep their head from hitting the table as they go down for a nap. This is what happens when the brain disengages from a lack of stimulation or engagement.
Let’s try another picture. The facilitator was already in the room before people enter and greets each one in a friendly, smiling manner. Then opens up with a True and False PowerPoint on the topic and asks the participants to partner up and discuss what they both think. Finally, one person in a pair is asked for their thoughts including why they think it’s true or false. Trust me the level of engagement for all is heighten and people feel they are part of the conversation. They realize it’s not all about the facilitator.
Even when you know a lot it’s best not to make that known. Give others a chance to speak and own the floor. Remember you have two ears and only one mouth, don’t wear one out to the detriment of the other. Famous words, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger”.