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Techniques to Foster Interpersonal Competences

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From AASHE 2017 workshop:
Interpersonal Competences (ICs) are vital for sustainability change agents. Evidence shows that ICs are also highly-prized career skills. A student with strong ICs can productively interact and empathize with collaborators and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. ICs allow students to effectively learn from and teach others across different values and cultures, negotiate conflicts, and facilitate effective community decision-making. Organizational Development consultants and others have designed and used facilitation techniques for interpersonal work in industry, governance and NGOs. However, these techniques are not yet widely implemented in formal education settings, and ICs are rarely explicitly addressed in pedagogy. It is therefore imperative to improve ICs development in higher education.
This session reviews some widely-used strategies and promising innovations to foster ICs. It demonstrates teachable tools for: improving communication framing and story-telling; promoting constructive dialogue and small-group conversations; and facilitating information-sharing, collaboration and decision-making in large groups. Such tools for group process and information sharing can enhance every student’s ICs, promoting student success across all disciplines and career paths. We will consider and practice a selection of strategies synthesized from Organizational Development, to help educators from all disciplines foster ICs in sustainability education.
Handouts and references available at https://perplexedprimate.org/2017/10/19/adventures-at-aashe/

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Techniques to Foster Interpersonal Competences

  1. 1. Techniques to Foster Interpersonal Competences Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D. perplexedprimate@gmail.com perplexedprimate.org AASHE 2017
  2. 2. SYSTEMS THINKING COMPETENCE 5 Key Competences in Sustainability (Wiek et al 2011) ANTICIPATORY COMPETENCE NORMATIVE COMPETENCE INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE STRATEGIC COMPETENCE Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  3. 3. What is Interpersonal Competence? • Working with different cultures, values, backgrounds, and perspectives • Appreciation of diversity • Empathy • Negotiating conflicts • Communicating • Working and learning in groups (UNESCO 2005; Segalàs et al 2010; Wiek et al 2011; Frisk & Larson 2011; Rieckmann 2012; Lans et al 2014; Murga-Menoyo 2014; Lozano et al in press) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  4. 4. Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017 Increased Social Tolerance Larger Repertoire of Adaptive Behaviors Reduced Competition for Resources More Time in Proximity more chances to learn any new behavior More Diverse Social Partners more potential innovators to observe (Merrill 2004; Van Schaik et al 2003)
  5. 5. Why Interpersonal Competence Matters • Maybe the most essential competence for finding just and durable solutions to sustainability problems (e.g. Sinner, Brown & Newton 2016) • Promotes student success across all disciplines and career paths (e.g. Thomas & Depasquale 2016) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Truth-and-Reconciliation-Commission-South-Africa Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  6. 6. Trends in Interpersonal Competence: US College Students 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4 4.1 1979-89 1990-94 1995-99 2000-04 2005-09 Empathy Perspective taking (Konrath, O'Brien & Hsing 2011) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  7. 7. How do you get socially-awkward people to party all night? By Diacritica (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  8. 8. An Introvert’s Guide to Working with People Structure and guidelines make it easier for less sociable people to participate in collective problem- solving and decision- making Liberating Structures www.liberatingstructures.com Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  9. 9. Levels of Interpersonal Interaction • Monologue (Solo) • Dialogue (Duet) • Small Group (Trio to Octet) • Large Group (Symphony) http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_young_people_ demonstrating_a_lively_conversation.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Small_group_conversatio n_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_Cafe.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussi on_2011_Shankbone.JPG Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  10. 10. Overview of Strategies MONOLOGUE: SOLO •Managing Metaphors: the power of well-crafted language •Storytelling http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  11. 11. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg Managing Metaphors MONOLOGUE: SOLO The power of language - choose wisely • Framing language and metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson 2008) •Linguistic relativism • ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’ (Casasanto 2008) • Effect of Language on Economic Behavior (Chen 2013) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  12. 12. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg Managing Metaphors MONOLOGUE: SOLO Things to Avoid 1. Mechanistic 2. Anthropocentric 3. Linear 4. Polarity and Dualism 5. Conflict 6. Domination / stratification Better Alternatives 1. Natural / Living 2. Eco-centric 3. Cyclic / Systemic 4. Continuums and Complexity 5. Cooperation 6. Egalitarian / peer-to-peer Activity based on Liberating Structures: 1-2-4-AllMichelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  13. 13. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg The Story MONOLOGUE: SOLO Best remembered story elements: 1. Context • setting, characters 2. Goals • plot 3. Consequences of Goal-directed Action • moral by User:Slashme [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (Mandler & Johnson 1977, Trabasso & Van Den Broek 1985, Jones & Song 2014; Olson 2015) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  14. 14. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg And – But – So Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  15. 15. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg The Story MONOLOGUE: SOLO https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki /File:Gordijnen_aan_venster.JPG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luci_e_colori_del_p aradiso_dei_frati_- _Convento_Frati_Cappuccini_Monterosso_al_Mare_- _Cinque_Terre.jpg Mirror Window Door Here & Now Desirable Future Invitation Photo by E.S.Peterson colorjedi.tumblr.com Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017 from Caroline Casey
  16. 16. http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach-cctouc.jpg MONOLOGUE: SOLO 3 Act Structure of The Story Beginning Middle End Pity Fear Catharsis Context Goals Consequences And But So Mirror Window Door Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  17. 17. Overview of Strategies DIALOGUE: DUET •Non-Violent Communication • Interviewing Skills • Conversation Starters https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_young_people_demonstrating_a_lively_conversation.jpg Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  18. 18. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_young_people_demonstrating_a_lively_conversation.jpg Non-Violent Communication DIALOGUE: DUET https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USAF_photographer.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Manga_emotions-EN.jpg https://pixabay.com/en/begging-hands-poor-hope-charity-1922612/ cnvc.org https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  19. 19. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Small_group_conversation_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_Cafe.jpg Overview of Strategies SMALL GROUP: TRIO TO OCTET •Conversation Café •World Café •Jigsaw Pedagogy Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  20. 20. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Small_group_conversation_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_Cafe.jpg SMALL GROUP: TRIO TO OCTET Conversation Café conversationcafe.org • Tables with poster paper and pens • Small group rounds (3+) with questions • Harvest and share responses World Café theworldcafe.com • 60-90 minutes • Up to 8 per group • ‘The Agreements’ • 2 ‘talking object’ rounds • Open conversation round • ‘Talking Object’ closing round Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  21. 21. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Small_group_conversation_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_Cafe.jpg Jigsaw Pedagogy SMALL GROUP: TRIO TO OCTET http://cabrillosustainablecultures.wordpress.com (Merrill, Chang, & Burkhardt-Holm 2018)Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  22. 22. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY • Ceremony and Ritual • Being Heard – Participating, Connecting and Collaborating • Council Process • Appreciative Inquiry • Open Space • Liberating Structures: Impromptu Networking; 1-2-4-All • Decision Making • Consensus: Occupy! vs. Robert's Rules • Alternative Voting • Liberating Structures: 25/10 • Technological Support (‘Gadgets for Group Work’) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  23. 23. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG Ceremony and Ritual LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY “Ceremony and ritual give order, stability, and confidence to troubled children and adolescents, whose lives are often in considerable disarray.” Hobbs, 1982, The Principles of Re-Education (on http://re-ed.cflearning.org/about) By Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35595127 Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  24. 24. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG Council Process Being Heard • Sit in a circle • Only the person holding the talking stick speaks; others must listen fully • Speak your own truth; do not comment on others • Everyone is heard Jim Mone/AP, https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/talking-stick-and-feather-indigenous- tools-hold-sacred-power-of-free-speech/ Fujioka, K. (1998). The talking stick: An American Indian tradition in the ESL classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, 4(9). LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  25. 25. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG Consensus Process Decision Making • Avoids “Tyranny of the Majority” • Can be cumbersome and too slow in very large groups “Consensus consistently empowered cranks, malcontents, and even provocateurs to lay claim to a group’s attention and gum up the works…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OccupyHandSignals.pdf Kauffman, L.A. 2015. The theology of consensus. Berkeley Journal of Sociology. http://berkeleyjournal.org/2015/05/the- theology-of-consensus/ LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  26. 26. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG Alternative Voting – Decision Making Dot Voting / “Dot-mocracy” • Different colors and amounts can allow for more varied expression +/- importance/willingness photo courtesy of Gary Merrill and Jessica Wolf, Emergent Systems http://democracy.earth blockchain liquid democracy LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  27. 27. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG 25/10 Crowd Sourcing Decision Making (from liberatingstructures.com) 1. Write an important ‘take away’ from this session in one clear sentence on the front of your index card. 2. Mill and pass – no reading. Keep exchanging cards until time’s up. 3. Write your score on the BACK of the card you now hold: 1= not very exciting … 5 = I want to act on this! 4. Mill and pass, then score new card (four more times) until each card has 5 scores. 5. See which items have the highest totals. LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  28. 28. To review… Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  29. 29. MONOLOGUE: SOLO •Managing Metaphors •Storytelling •And-But-So •Mirror-Window-Door http://cctouc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/academic-coach- cctouc.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Gordijnen_aan_venster.JPG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luci_e_c olori_del_paradiso_dei_frati_- _Convento_Frati_Cappuccini_Monterosso_al_Mare _-_Cinque_Terre.jpg Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  30. 30. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w iki/File:USAF_photographer.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M anga_emotions-EN.jpg https://pixabay.com/en/begging-hands- poor-hope-charity-1922612/https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg DIALOGUE: DUET •Non-Violent Communication • Interviewing Skills • Conversation Starters https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_young_people_ demonstrating_a_lively_conversation.jpg cnvc.org Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  31. 31. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Small_group_conversat ion_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_Cafe.jpg SMALL GROUP: TRIO TO OCTET •World Café &Conversation Café •Jigsaw Pedagogy Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  32. 32. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discu ssion_2011_Shankbone.JPG LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY • Ceremony and Ritual • Being Heard – Participating, Connecting and Collaborating • Council Process • Appreciative Inquiry • Open Space • Liberating Structures: Impromptu Networking; 1-2-4-All • Decision Making • Consensus: Occupy! vs. Robert's Rules • Alternative Voting • Liberating Structures: 25/10 • Technological Support (‘Gadgets for Group Work’) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  33. 33. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Occupy_Wall_Street_Group_Discussion_2011_Shankbone.JPG 25/10 Crowd Sourcing Decision Making (from liberatingstructures.com) 1. Write an important ‘take away’ from this session in one clear sentence on the front of your index card. 2. Mill and pass – no reading. Keep exchanging cards until time’s up. 3. Write your score on the BACK of the card you now hold: 1= not very exciting … 5 = I want to act on this! 4. Mill and pass, then score new card (four more times) until each card has 5 scores. 5. See which items have the highest totals. LARGE GROUP: SYMPHONY Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  34. 34. Interpersonal relations and collaboration Empathy and change of perspective Communication and use of media Case studies Interdisciplinary team teaching Lecturing Mind and concept maps Project and/or Problem-based learning Community Service Learning Jigsaw / Interlinked Teams Participatory Action Research Eco-justice and community Place-Based Environmental Education Supply chain/ Life Cycle Analysis Traditional ecological knowledge Connecting competences and pedagogical approaches for sustainable development in higher education: A literature review and framework proposal. Lozano, R., Merrill, M.Y., Lozano, F., Ceulemans, K., Sammalisto, K. (in press: Sustainability) Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  35. 35. Co-operators are standing by… Michelle Y. Merrill AASHE 2017
  36. 36. How can we connect with, learn from, and teach each other so we can co-create a resilient, regenerative culture? Michelle Y. Merrill, Ph.D. perplexedprimate.org perplexedprimate@gmail.com

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