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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

The Art of the Report

Early in my 35-year career as a group dynamics professional, I became aware that most people only digest and retain about 20% of what happens when I work with them. Ugh.

I believe there are many reasons for this:

—There's typically a lot going on, and it's easy to drop stitches. 

—The tendency to be so self-absorbed (how does this impact me?) that they miss the bigger picture. 

—A lot of folks aren't that good at listening. 

—Being too embarrassed to admit when you're confused, and thus failing to ask questions to better understand. 

—Not being open to new ideas (because you're so invested in the old ones—even when they're demonstrably not working).

As a consequence of this insight, I developed the habit of writing an after action report, in which I carefully go over what happened while I was with them, plus what I observed and what I recommend going forward. Even though there is often little that's new in these reports (from what the group was given orally while I was with them), a good report can significantly enhance what the group can make use of.

Read the rest at Laird's Commentary on Community and Consensus


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