i dont know what i dont know, there in lies the challenge….


Last time I shared about the team having a rough time at Kids Club. The process of debriefing the incident was fascinating. We used the restorative practice frame work which helped the team put the data out on the table then disclose how they individually felt and experienced the incident and finally what each one would find helpful as they moved forward.

Here are some of the things that the team said a few days later when we were referring to the process; ‘it was so good to know that someone understood what was going on for me’ ‘ it was good to hear how the others experienced it – instead of just being angry, it was good to understand’. The process helped me ‘be open about my own experience but also see how what I did effected the others.’ ‘ I want to get better at actually supporting the others, not just saying it, but doing it’.

At the start of the process there was a lot of circling the issue and veiled accusations,  a polarization had started with one member who’s reaction in the incident had been more expressive, being the brunt of the hard feeling. People were fairly stuck in their primary circuit of self blame and projected blame, as well as guilt and shame.

Through the process which took about 30 minutes, there was a significant shift for each of them as they heard each other and put themselves in each other’s shoes. In doing that they were able to own their own stuff and each accept responsibility for their contribution to the incident. I was impacted to see the spontaneous grace towards one another that they were then able to express. Hope rose as they saw a way forward for them as a team and that all was not lost but this incident could be used to bring strength to the kids at the kids club as well.

A whole week has passed since the incident and I have seen the team continue to learn how to see and understand each other and build a culture where others are welcome, seen and understood. The incident and the process that followed is now a point of reference for them.

I am reminded of the prayer of Elihu in the book of Job – ‘that which I see not, show me’. As long as I remember that I don’t know what I don’t know, I have half a chance of getting to a place of healing and resolution with my brothers and sisters, of learning and growth regardless of the situation I am in. Empathy….

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