I am so very delighted to announce that I have a guest poet with me for this post! His name is Gary Shampang and he and his wife Doris are long time neighbors of my Mom and Dad.
Gary and I completed a collaboration that grew out of he and his wife’s unwavering support to my Mom and Dad, when my Dad suffered congestive heart failure and partial kidney failure this past December, 2010. It has been a long, slow and arduous recovery for my Dad. The fact that my Mom and Dad have a great support system of neighbors, has been an incredible blessing to me because I don’t live close by. For 3 months, during a very snowy winter, in which the snow banks became so tall and wide we wondered where to put the continuing snow that had to be removed from the driveway and sidewalks, the support and help from Gary and Doris and also from other neighbors, was very solicitous, clearing snow and making sure the property was kept up. This was a Godsend to our family. While a gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a lovely fruit basket is a nice way to say thank you, I felt some stronger appreciation was essential, in light of continued appropriate and kind, neighborly interaction and in particular our collaboration.
A couple of months ago, while visiting with Gary and Doris, I discovered Gary was a poet and delightedly, we began talking poetry. He read me a beautiful nature poem, so I asked him if I could showcase it on my blog! He declined at first, a superb closet poet, with all these wonderful poems of nature, love, relationship, and community! But I offered to help him copyright it. This began our collaboration, in which he asked, “So, we’ll collaborate?” My answer, “Absolutely!”
Out of sincere thanks for helping my family in a time of need, a desire to help another person give voice to their beautiful poetry creation, and an opportunity for me to discuss Conflict Coaching perspectives, I was able to work together with Gary by helping him copyright his creation!
Collaboration is a critical tool in encouraging interactive support between people, and can successfully lead to resolving conflict. If you approach a collaboration with only the goal in mind to strive to get participants together to persuade them to support your idea, your method can fall short and lead to disconnected communication and feelings of lack of fulfillment in participants. The most critical foundational tool for successful collaboration is building consensus among participants. “The rational argument for consensus building is that consensus building produces a higher quality decision than any other decision making process.” (Strauss, 59) In our collaboration, we both had important needs met that helped us to decide to agree to collaborate. My family received from Gary and Doris support in a time of need, I received an opportunity to teach elements of Conflict Coaching, and Gary received some help from me on getting one of his poetry projects copy written and articulated.
Group consensus is so important. “A group reaches consensus on a decision when every member can agree to support that decision.” (Strauss, 58) Agreement reached from this collective viewpoint means that each person’s voice in the group is included and that their fundamental reasons for joining the group have not been compromised by any singular agenda.
“The concept of consensus building is particularly powerful because it connects with both our minds and our hearts. It speaks to both what is possible and what is right, what makes practical sense and what is the moral thing to do.” (Strauss, 59) To me, this is meaningful collaboration because our needs are not only met, but fulfilled in an abundant way! Realizing the abundance in these benefits to ourselves by working together with others in such a manner, helps us discover more opportunities in our lives, work, families and relationships to continue this successful approach!!!
What did I receive out of this collaboration?
a. A chance to show deep appreciation to a neighbor for helping my family.
b. A chance to discuss my expertise in Conflict Coaching, in the application of “power with” negotiation, through consensus building in collaboration.
c. I feel good about giving someone a chance to do something that makes them happy.
d. Education!!! The Thrush family is one of my favorite birds. Through Gary’s expertise in nature and bird watching, I learned the different birdsong in the Thrush family!! This was meaningful to me because nature is so dear to my heart.
e. I have the opportunity to appreciate another poet’s work through a meaningful collaboration experience.
Bibliography: Strauss, David. How To Make Successful Collaboration Work. San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Now may I introduce to you, Mr. Gary Shampang and his lovely poem and artwork:
The day is warm, the time past noon,
And thunder warns of showers soon.
In the forest very deep,
All things are still in mid-day sleep.
Then suddenly a flute like note,
Soft and sweet, it seems to float.
Then burst into a haunting song,
Loud then soft, weak then strong.
Then still and quiet comes once more,
As raindrops kiss the forest floor.
A Thrush it was that sang that song.
A Hermit Thrush if I’m not wrong.
God made this place, the rain, the bird,
The throat that sang, the ears that heard.
I leave this place through swirling mist,
Reassured God must exist.
©2011 Gary W. Shampang, all rights reserved.
Watch this wonderful video of the Hermit Thrush singing, posted on youtube by TheMusicOfNature
“Walking On HIS Footstool,”
A trail from individuation to divine respect.
For more information, see my “About Me” page. Or, click on the picture and be directed to my website.