Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Consensus and The Beast that Bit me

Dressed professional to impress

It's a decision making thing.  

Something I have known about for 10 years or so now.  I have oft referred to it as "Death By Committee"  Having to talk around and around and around a subject until all parties are happy.  And get a group of parents together to agree on something?  It'd be easier to shift a tonne of jelly with a teeny tiny teaspoon.  :O.

It would seem I've been misunderstanding the process all this time.... describes it thusly


[kuhn-sen-suhs] Show IPA
–noun, plural -sus·es.
majority of opinion: The consensus of the group was that they should meet twice a month.
general agreement or concord; harmony.
 So I had the bones of it.  But it seems I missed the point somehow.  The reason for it.

I mentioned I was going to be at a National Playcentre meeting over the weekend? It was the Presidents of our 33 Associations, and some other representatives, and some Federation folks.  These are folk who have been around for years, generally, and who really know their shit.  It was awe inspiring to be in the same room as them, let alone watching them facilitate a discussion, assist a group of 90+ people come to an agreement about a HUGE change to the structure of our organisation.  A discussion that has been ongoing for about 10 years.

Then I had someone suggest that I could sit in the room next time, as part of the discussion. That I would be good as an Association President. There's a daunting thought!!

So much so that I didn't really sleep on Saturday night. 

But they didn't need to ask if I wanted to coz I was hooked. I went back to help again after dinner Saturday (I had only been asked to help during the day) and then again on Sunday.

It blew my mind to watch this huge group work together to find a resolution that everyone in the room was ok about.  It was frustrating to watch one party be confused, unhappy with the decision, but feel they could say so. It was amazing to be a part of a process that allows for that kind of open honest emotive but eventually satisfying communication.  Humbling to think that these people lead all of us Playcentre mums and dads. The wisdom in that room. If I could have an ounce of that much empathy, compassion, aroha, tact and word-smith-ness, diplomatic speechyness then I would be so much more an awesome person than I am.

I want more.

I want to be in a room with these like minded, but oh so different people more often. I want to learn from them. I want to be like them, but in my own wee ToastFairy way of course!!  I want to be where they are: leading, guiding, keeping the Beast that is Playcentre alive. No. Thriving. 

I want the Beast thriving. I call it a Beast coz we have 33 Asociations, 489 centres, and who knows how many families in our organisation. It's a term of endearment. A reference to how big and cumbersome it could be. But these people make it work. It's amazing. 
I want everyone to know the awesomeness that is Playcentre. I know already what a blessing Playcentre is to my family, I want others to know that blessing on their families too.  I want Playcentre to be recognised as the wonderful Full Preschool Learning Environment that it is. 

I'm in the door at my Association by being Secretary.  Onwards and upwards for me. Anyway I can stay involved I'm gonna grab! That's the Beast that bit me. Playcentre Federation.

And about being scared shitless that I don't have the skills to do such a job?  Well, as my wise Dad pointed out "that seems like a perfect reason to do it!" So, if given the opportunity I will grab it with both hands, I want to be involved. I want to learn and grow. And to have the chance to help others do the same.  :OD

Side note?  I think I need a haircut. I'm starting to look like Astro Boy.  :O/  

1 comment:

  1. Love reading your thoughts Ruthi especially as I enter the world of playcentre for the first time. It's new and exciting and in two sessions I've already seen it's benefits.