February 1, 2013

Hyderabad Communication Workshop Follow up


We tried to follow up the workshop through emails, phone calls etc. in spite of many constraints: shortage of time and other pressures. There are signs of some changes: Some participants have become more committed to attending SHG in their cities and some are in the process of setting up a SHG in their area. And some are looking forward to next workshop. Yet again, some have become more knowledgeable and cognizant of the task at hand.

Here is a brief analysis of the feedback received from some (8) participants. We tried to understand what has clicked and what needs a rethink. Here is brief summary and excerpts from participants' feedback received over emails.
We had posed four questions:
1. Mention just two activities you liked most and give one or two line reason why you liked them.
2. Mention just two activities you found difficult or boring and give one or two line reason why so.
3. Two brief suggestions to improve these workshops.
4. Have you adopted a new practice/ thought/ approach  in life AFTER the workshop? If yes, what? How?

Most people liked most of the activities. Voluntary stuttering was found challenging by some- and a “revolutionary” idea by some other. Most participants enjoyed “change your partner every 2 minutes” activity, energizers, formal presentations, Video recording and review, Stammering interviews etc.
Some participants thought more time should have been given to some activities. Everyone was very happy with logistics, food (“Biryani”) and other arrangements. After the workshop- back into “normal” life- some were able to adopt one or two ideas from the workshop. Some people had difficulty understandably. Here are some selected direct quotes:
The activity i liked most was Energizer games when we have to suddenly move to a new person for talking after a very short interval of time, in this activity mind was running too fast- talking to person suddenly plus taking care of all the technique. The activity i liked was looking into persons eyes and speak. And favorite of all- was our friends taking the survey (stammering interviews).

The difficult activity i found was meditation, concentration for too long was difficult.

i have adopted slow speaking in my daily routine, and now i dont try to hide my stammering..
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The top 2 most likable activity certainly has to be meditation and the opportunity to speak uninhibited in front of a crowd using block correction techniques.
Most of us long for an opportunity to go "full-throttle" and speak when we know that the audience would not hold any kind of prejudice against us.
The most difficult ( rather embarrassing) activity was voluntary stuttering. Most of us stutter because we dont like to stutter. Voluntary stuttering is a novel concept but I would rather rely on speech correction mechanisms ( pre block,post block). Of course I have mentally accepted that Stammering has no cure and that I should not go over the moon when I do well and not go into a shell when I stammer.  In other words stammering  is our Alter ego and we should not be ashamed of it when it rears its head intermittently.
No activity was boring. . As I already said, most of us are longing to speak,speak and just speak. In a way we are like caged birds who are longing for freedom from self imposed shackles. I personally looked forward to this workshop for a shot-in-the-arm and try and make the maximum out of the speaking opportunities.
If we can ask the participants before any workshop as to what they expect from the workshop and then try and customize the workshop for them, it will be a good takeaway. We could have sessions where all PWS are made to speak at least for 15 minutes on any extempore topic using all the block correction mechanisms on all the 3 days (we had it on 2nd & 3rd day only).
We could have an interview panel who would try and grill candidates and check how they respond to them. In role play we could have PWS enacting real life interviewers.
I have accepted that stammering has no cure. I have stopped setting "speech perfection" targets for myself. I dont brood when I stammer. Now I "Stammer" like a rockstar.
I liked most- Guided meditation - as i felt more awareness on breathing while i was doing that. it will be nice if we introduce some more minutes of guided meditation.
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Yes i adopted awareness in my breathing and feeling the vibrations of vocal chords which is the gift i got by attending this workshop.
Liked: Bouncing technique--I feel comfortable to start feared words in front of stranger rather than going in to a block in the starting word.
I liked Voluntary stuttering—Before this, I used to try not to stutter in front of people . But gradually I am using the technique to desensitize myself. I feel this is a good technique for acceptance.
Found difficult: Stammering interview-But after the interview my concept toward normal speakers has been changed. I did not know that nobody thinks much of our stammering...
Now, after the workshop, I take one sentence and try to say it in different manner –like bouncing, Stretching , in slow rate . After two/three/four words I give relaxation to my breathing system and let the air come in to recharge my self for next phrases.
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...Voluntary stuttering and meditation  were really helpful to me...No activity was really boring . Enjoyed all activities including the Hyderabadi biryaani !!!
Honestly i should confess that i have not been applying the techniques in day to day situations. Although I am aware of this fact !!! Also there is a desire deep within me to apply these techniques and I realize that only hard work and the right and consistent effort will give me results.
I have understood, simply reading book and having knowledge regarding stammering is not sufficient to recover..
Thank you TISA! Thank you Hyderabad group..
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Facilitator's feedback: More SHG coordinators should come forward, dedicate a few days - and learn facilitation of these workshops thoroughly- so that many more people can conduct these workshops and reach out to a larger audience - in regional languages..India is a BIG country.

1 comment:

Rajesh V said...

Awesome to see members feedback.
Regards !