Cannon Hill Collective ’14/15 Week One Blog

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Tuesday 7th October

This years incarnation of the Cannon Hill Collective began in terrific style at 6pm today. At least I hope it did, having missed the first 7 minutes due to painstaking traffic on the Bristol Road I have had to fill in the blank (So sorry – I vow to do my utmost to never miss a moment more).

However, upon arrival I was immediately in the grasp of our first challenge, which was centred on ACTIVE LISTENING. Hearing that I was developing this skill left my mum VERY pleased.

After being split into groups, one person was asked to sit in a chair with everybody else sat on the floor around them. Whoever was in the chair then spoke for a minute about anything; themselves, what they do, what they like or maybe how their day had been. Each floor dweller was given a different category, so that when the speaker mentioned something that fit within their category, they would note it down. In my group the categories were:

a) facts

b) passions

c) emotions

d) intuition (meaning what could be inferred either verbally, maybe through the subtext of what they were saying or non-verbally by reading their body language)

Once everybody had a go at being speaker and master of each category, the unlucky Louisa was left as the odd one out having not had a chance to speak. She then did so with every hawk-like member of the collective studying her every word and move.

Active Listening Exercise

(Please excuse my embarrassing scribble)

Some things that came out of the exercise was that we can all be very intent listeners, that whilst some of us feel at ease performing to crowds, to talk openly and honestly about ourselves is out of our comfort zone, and that many of us aren’t aware of our physical ticks and idiosyncrasies.

Next – FOOD BREAK

Another fascinating exercise untaken was silent speed networking/dating. We were handed paper and pens and had one minute to communicate solely by drawing or writing. Amy Martin, our phenomenal facilitator, noted that this exercise is a great leveller that numbs the potency of the loudest voice in the room to dominate networking. My proudest discovery during this task was to find out that Jordanne was best friends at school with my best friend’s sister, who I have known for her entire life. Cool.

The two-hour introductory blast of interdisciplinary and collaborative development ended with parish notices and admin, making sure everybody was on the same page and knew about how the programme will run and what our first bit of homework is going to be!

And that was week one. Hasta Luego.

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