My time with the cadre in Florida was structured but not contrived. I recognize the implicit trust placed in each individual as responsible for his or her own learning as evidenced by the more free form agenda and little if any imposed expectations. Conversation carried a majority of the learning. In conversation each had the opportunity and, potentially because of the relationships we have built, the mutual obligation to truly listen to one another. The environment was more relaxed and comfortable than the initial apprehensions and intensity of cadre camp.
I have always considered role playing a powerful way of learning. Reflection coupled with role playing was a very meaningful, engaging and fun experience.
I felt that I dialed in to one of the major desires of the program which is to facilitate caring relationships that foster trust, sharing and learning. One’s practice is something close to the heart and to allow others to examine and offer suggestions is a challenge. Values and identity are at the core of the MALT program for which I am grateful. A majority of the time was spent building bonds with one another. It is my opinion that people naturally are drawn to one another and desire a sense of connection and belonging and that there is no need to try and force that process to happen. The environment was ideal for the relationships to be strengthened and solidified. I did notice however that there are opportunities to intervene when people are comfortable where they are and are not inclined to stay curious enough to swallow a healthy amount of risk and make more connections.