We’ve supported many positive change projects over the years, but sometimes something happens that packs in a great learning experience. This is one.
We were asked to facilitate a few workshops in the healthcare sector around Auckland, New Zealand. One of those workshops was specifically designed to harness the insight and creativity of Maori communities. Shortly after the beginning of the workshop, a young man brazenly interrupted the facilitator, challenging his authority and competence: who are you to lead us?
We didn’t know quite how to interpret his actions — but we assumed this was a white / non-white thing, which we totally get. Magenta wants to help right the wrongs that historically oppressed people have suffered — and so we asked the group, should we continue? We also asked the young man what he would like to see happen in this situation, and how we might best proceed given everyone’s needs around the room. He wavered, submitted, and eventually left the workshop, too frustrated to continue. But as a result of his courage and vocalizations, indigenous and non-indigenous New Zealanders built a bridge and pulled closer together, envisioning the healthcare system they needed in their community.
Big takeaway: surf the chaos. See “interruptions” as “irruptions” of vital power and strength, and take the time and space to point them forward in service of the whole.