Facilitating Powerful Conversations — A Reflection

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Tong Yee invited me attend Facilitating Powerful Conversations (FPC) as a path to find inner growth and to meet a community of like minded people. I did not have much expectations signing up for this course, just excited to see what I could learn from him and the type of people it would attract.

The FPC course is based on Ontological Coaching methodology and is enhanced with the lessons and ideas of self and identity that The Thought Collective (TTC) has refined throughout their years. Of course I am still on my journey of learning and living the lessons from the course. But below is an exploration of certain points that I have taken out in hopes to reflect on what I have learnt.

Idea of the BEL

We started with an introduction on how the Body, Emotions and Language (BEL) are the paradigms on how we perceive the world. A conscious decision of breaking down our perception of the BEL and the small nuances that can help us identify when certain parts do not align. It is about empowering us on this journey of mending our intra-personal and interpersonal relationships. Sometimes the BEL doesn’t link and although we consciously hide our Language, we can see the reality within the Emotions and Body. But it is about picking these clues that can help us establish into a deeper conversation of healing. We did a dyadic exercise that breaks down our step by step interaction, connect with the speaker, be present with them. Start looking at what cues do we notice, is it a certain hesitation in their voice, or a wince of pain, what can we read from the body language. We then took the exercise further by delving into different dispositions during our dyads. We respond to the needs of the speakers with either a lover posture that holds the space, or a warrior disposition to direct them into a deeper conversation. But mostly it is about being aware of these three realms of our identity and how we can interrogate them.

Clean Conversations

We explored the concept of “cleaning up our entry”, which was to approach our conversations owning up to our own preconceived thoughts and biases. The idea is to reveal to others what is happening intrapersonally (your own thoughts). This helps both parties understand where your emotions and ideas are coming from, in hopes to lead to stronger conversation in which people own their own baggage and responsibilities. The goal is to separate out between our assessments (objective fact) and assertions (our opinion), and to hold our judgments lightly when conversing with others.

Interesting narrative of how we can present the context in our conversations before jumping in. It allows people to understand our context before we make our request and expectations. We had very clean conversations, from the dedicated listener, and taking care of entry to know what assertions we are bring in. The importance for us to observe our BEL before our actions to ensure that we do not repeat the cycle.

Body Dispositions

Our body has a natural disposition in how we hold ourselves and is a reflection of our innate character. This exercise was about finding what our own body disposition, and to then explore the wider range of other disposition. The goal was to expand our own range according to the diverse situations that calls for it.

Warrior — Leads by Ego, focused on the task at hand, uses their energy to provoke. Lover — Leads by a Social need, able to observe and take in information, uses your energy to evoke. Jester — Leads by a need for Freedom, not limited by an boundaries, gets into your personal boundaries. King — Leads by Order, grounded and stable with tradition, do not need to enter your space to evoke change

I found a connection with my body on what are its innate dispositions which follows the sequence of — Lover -> King -> Warrior -> Jester.


What we learned are that Emotions are the warning systems for our body, on the need to respond to something. And that there are no such things as bad emotions. However, we develop coping mechanisms when the emotions we feel are too much to bear. And moods are when certain emotions become permanent, this is when we lose range and are held hostage by these emotions. The idea is to not let emotions overcome us and take us out of the situation. To control it, we need to be able to identify the emotions and find peace with the situation. To overcome all emotions that we feel, we need the courage to Forgive, Trust and Accept for us to overcome and develop range.

Building Trust

For me there was a lot of compassion and trust built with a bunch of strangers in the powerful 4 days of learning. I cherish this community that you have created for us and for the opportunity to grow in character. Trust is built through the vulnerability we give to others, this gave people the ability to understand and empathise with each other. The strong environment of trust gave us the opportunity to bring out our suffering and gain perspective from others through empathy. What I learnt to be more observant about was that Trust is an offer that is made and built over time. Trust is the willingness to sacrifice and give up your ego to be in Common Space with each other.

My Takeaway Lessons

  • To explore my narrative and mood of urgency in life. Why am I fixated on this external goal, what is this goal? To leave the world better off than it was before? To find meaning in life? Why am I always in a rush towards this? Is just being myself in my wholeness not enough? To start exploring the idea of self love and to understand that I am good enough the way I am.

Originally published at qpskpii.wordpress.com on October 18, 2018.

Written by

Programme Manager @ Padang & Co | Architectural Designer | Startups, Participatory Design and Social Enterprise sectors https://www.linkedin.com/in/llqingping/

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