Practice Partners is a program designed to support practice in daily life in two ways: by pairing you with someone in the sangha to process with on a regular basis, and by providing a regular occasion to practice powerful facilitation skills. You and your partner will get together once a week for an hour. For the first half of that hour, one of you will process about any topic you might choose (how you are practicing with the various issues and situations that have come up in your life), and the other person will facilitate. Then you will switch roles for the second half-hour so that each of you has a chance to process and work on your facilitation skills.
Here is a more detailed break down on how this program works:
- There is one requirement in order to be eligible to participate. The requirement is that you participate regularly in sangha (in the virtual groups offered Thursday and Sunday evenings and/or online classes, workshops, retreats, etc.)
- When you sign up for the program you will be sent a video to watch in order to orient you to the program. This video will include training in the facilitation techniques that we practice.
- You will also be assigned a partner. Your partner will be someone from the sangha—someone who does this practice and is also seeking support for their practice.
- You and your partner will set up a time to talk for an hour once a week.
- When you get on the phone with your partner you will decide who is going to process first, and who is going to facilitate.
- The person who is processing will use the time to talk about anything they choose, in terms of practice. Said another way, they will use the opportunity to bring awareness to some issues or challenges that they are facing in their life.
- The person who is facilitating will practice their facilitation skills while the other person shares. The primary skill is called “reflective listening”. This is a simple but profound technique that assists people to actively listen and support another person while they speak. The secondary skills are called “drawing out” and “clarifying”. During the video, we will explore these skills so that everyone understands what they are practicing while they are in the facilitator role during the calls.
- Halfway through the calls, you will switch roles with your partner. If you were processing for the first half of the call then you will facilitate during the second half, and vice-versa.
• If there are problems that arise in the partnerships you will have a way to communicate with someone who can help sort things out.
- Your commitment to the program will last for one quarter/three months. At the end of the quarter, we will ask everyone if they would like to continue to participate and we will invite new folks to join. We will then pair everyone with new partners, do another training call, and begin again.