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Global Flipchart #20



March 2021

The Heart that Speaks

By Puri Lestari 

How often have you come across the heart that speaks?

The Heart of Facilitation is a series of conversations between facilitators where we can share stories of journeys, experience, and impacts of facilitation. The first set of three sessions was run between July and August 2020.  The Heart – for short – was initiated by Sini Kini, a community of practicing facilitators in Indonesia.

Sini Kini initiated The Heart with a premise around the following: Facilitators are known for ability to hold space for others, but what happens when we need a safe space for ourselves? 

The Heart of Facilitation is an effort to have that safe space for facilitators.

Co-created with the help of friends of Sini Kini, John Kingsley Cornwell & Victor Chandrawira, the mission was simple: to provide safe open space for everyone to learn and share from each other, to understand the uses of facilitation, and share lessons learned that can be applied in our everyday life both personally and professionally. An invitation to share our story of becoming facilitators for life. A space where we can all learn, unlearn, and relearn.

The Heart invites facilitators to share their “origin story”, the beginnings of our life-long relationship with facilitation, but also to highlight different uses and approaches in many other professions/walks of life outside the profession. It celebrates the many levels of impact for us personally and the communities we serve. The Heart aims to reach out to those with the heart of facilitation, regardless their profession, career, or industry background together. At the end of Session 3, The Heart has welcomed 156 people across 12 different time zones: Australia, across Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India) to Europe (England), from Northern America (Canada) to Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Togo, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Zambia).

Over the three virtual sessions, each lasted for 120 minutes, participants shared stories, asked questions, and discussed difficult conversations like understanding biases, racism, power imbalance. Insights from different cultures & experience were exchanged: spreading empathy strong enough to break down boundaries and build bridges. 

The conversations were able to co-create a common space to belong to, a safe space where we, the facilitators, can be accepted as humans too. 

At The Heart, we all connected and engaged based trust, respect, safety, and inclusivity. Most importantly, The Heart spoke of the power of facilitation.

The whole process of designing three sessions of The Heart was collaborative. Sini Kini openly invited the collaborators and all thirteen guests to experiment and co-create their respective session’s flow. In hindsight, that proved to be the most appropriate model to adopt for the program. As a result, each session was tailored to serve the purpose of the conversation topic. Each session carried out different methods of engagement, used different methods of conversations, and provided different conversation experiences for the participants and the guests alike. 

The Heart allowed its space to be a living lab, a showcase, an experience of pure facilitation process: an effort to help the group achieve its most potential outcome.

We know that the technology has been there all along to allow virtual interaction, but the pandemic has really redefined the meaning of connection and the need for interaction. What most perceive as hindrance, the lockdown and slow down by COVID-19 actually opens opportunities, and desire, to connect with one another more than ever.

The Heart speaks to the world:

We long for the warmth of embrace
Where we feel safe and loved
We yearn for the presence of each other
In the here and now
We seek for the common grounds
Where kindness is the only currency