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140confONT , Stories, and Listening

by Jason Dykstra
September 2011

Absolution Mediation Blog by Jason Dykstra

Jason Dykstra

“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.” -Albert Camus

Last week I had the privilege to be involved with the 140 conference and I’m not even sure where to begin talking about it. The day included some of the best stories that I’ve heard in a long time and the air was filled with emotion, gratitude, and brilliance. I could go into detail about some of the amazing stories that were there, I could go into detail about the even more amazing people that were there, but I want to focus on two things that really struck me.

The 140 conference through the eyes of a Mediator

Stories: Stories make the world go round. Stories move people. Everyone has a story. As a mediator, this is what I do with my clients, I listen to their stories, I help them tell their stories better, and I help them communicate their stories in difficult situations and aid them in preparing to listen to the other side’s story. The 140 conference shared many stories with me, created my own story of the day and for many other people and added to our ongoing story. The sharing of stories are so incredibly powerful and moving, a concept that we often forget.

Listening: For me this is what the day was all about. Roughly 250 people sat in a room with one person speaking at a time, all of them listening to the 30+ speakers of the day, listening to the person beside them, both with their ears and their eyes. The words filtered into people’s ears as their eyes captured the emotion and passion of the speakers and those around them. Through this process of listening people were motivated, inspired, broken, built up, and drained. Every speaker had a different story, every story impacted at least one person in the room and those who were watching online.

Listening was also talked about during the day. For me there was an overwhelming sense that we don’t listen enough, both in our personal life and in our professional life. We don’t listen to our spouse as much as we should, we don’t always listen to our children, we don’t always listen to our customers, co-workers, management, clients. We spend so much of our time speaking and thinking about what we are going to say that quite often we forget to listen to those around us. Whether we are talking to people online or in person we always need to be willing to listen to those around us and we need to start practicing now. Clear the distractions, live in the present and open your ears and eyes to those around you.

What were some of your thoughts on the 140 Conference?

Biography


Jason is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping organizations and congregations move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relational and communication issues and uses his experience and training in mediation, group facilitation, conflict management coaching, speaking and teaching to aid you and your surroundings to better cope with conflict and become more conflict resilient. Jason has a background in social services, working with individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health and at-risk youth. He complements his experience with an Advanced Certificate in Conflict Management and is currently in pursuit of his Master's Degree in Leadership. Jason lives in St. George, Ontario with his beautiful wife and two children.



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Website: www.jasondyk.com

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