A playmeo enthusiast, who works as a social justice educator, reached out to me to describe how one of my recent Facilitator Tips video tutorials had impacted her understanding of the value of connecting before content.
Meg writes “…I had this idea today, a little revelation, that I thought you’d appreciate so I thought I’d give it a share.
I am doing a keynote presentation next week and my subject is about how facilitation can make a more beautiful world.
I was thinking about how one of the truly beautiful things about effective facilitation is that you have to connect with people. If you’re asking a question, instead of giving them a thought, you have to listen first.
And I realized that I think the concept of ‘connection before content’ is true for a lot of social justice work and could help heal a lot of division and polarization. Which is why a lot of times you see people trying to change each other’s minds, especially on social media where it can feel really shitty. There is no connection, it’s just a fact-war.
Furthermore, I realised that any time I’ve ever ‘changed someone’s mind’ or, more accurately, seen their mind change, it involved connection before content. Every time…”
Seek first to connect, then understand. Any effort to connect first will always be more effective in developing an understanding of others. And in my experience, it is my fervent belief that this process will always lay a more solid foundation to help our groups be more successful at whatever they’re trying to get done.