With a sigh of relief and recognition, I enjoyed reading Robert Kržišnik’s blog post exploring our needs as trainers and facilitators. I aspire to be the kind of trainer who is a bridge for a short while in people’s lives. A bridge that supports them to find NVC and arrive in a new place. I’d like to be myself as a trainer and someone who recognises when my tanks are low and when I need a top-up of empathy, care flowing my way, rest and a reality check. (Note to the reader- sometimes I fail). Rest contributes so much to my being able to show up I see rest as resistance – as building my ability to change the way we are with ourselves and each other.
Over the years I have explored what supports me to avoid being a leader who is needing recognition, empathy or love from their participants and I suspect it takes constant awareness and feedback from a caring community as Robert suggests. Also a degree of self care and awareness, space to breathe and check in at the very minimum. The cost of not paying attention to this area is to steer far away from the vision of a world that works for all- ie we will repeat the same errors of the past- our blind spots and trauma being passed on.
I want to make a distinction offer clarity – I do of course have these needs for empathy and recognition – what Robert is alerting us to is not needing it from participants during a training. That is – not being in deficit and seeing it in subtle or not so subtle ways. I cannot nor do I wish to, turn off my need for empathy, for example, it still lives in me and I want to be alive to it. want to live with this need sufficiently cared for or nourished as much as possible and to walk into the room as a trainer having done my work. The same for my need fo recognition or love.
To offer more in this area of being a trainer it has also been in my awareness recently about making sure I do not disappear. I carry many roles as a Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, obviously often the trainer- the leader, the expert in Nonviolent Communication- eek!, for the past two years the assessor …for years I also walked into rooms with the label of Psychologist. I say carry for it is and can be a burden – and can get ‘sticky’ and people generally see me through one of these labels like a lens. I end up with a longing to be seen for me- just me, not the roles I have, the skills I have developed, the mistakes I make as I step into leadership, the areas of my life not healed or hidden from me. All of which seem to be amplified as others see me step up- then I start to lose myself
If I do not spend time with people who just see me- then I start to disappear somewhat. The antidote is to hang out with my mum, with my partner, with friends who know me in different roles- who see me and accept me just as I am.