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English-Spanish Tandem: motivation

As every Tuesday, we gathered for the English-Spanish Tandem. Giada, my friend who coordinates it, was out of town so she asked me to lead the session. I’ve chosen the topic of motivation, as it is one of the most important “ingredients” in life in general, but also in sports.

I chose to lead the session by using the dialogue method, that invites the participant to an active listening rather than giving replies and comment people’s ideas.

What is “the dialogue”? Let’s see it shortly explained:

Dialogue is a method used in the non-formal education to support the open dialogues between people coming from different backgrounds. It has a particular aspect compared to the simple discussion due to its way of going round.

In order to have a fruitful dialogue, please go by the following rules:

  • the order of the talks should be the same for every round; the order of the questions should be kept as they are

  • there is no limitation of time for a person to talk or for a question to be answered by everyone in the group

  • be an active listener, release your mind from thoughts, be curious about others’ thoughts; do not interrupt the speaker; each one gets its turn to speak; try to process the information received from the speaker but do not engage mentally in trying to debate it

  • there are no questions to be asked to the speaker – it is a personal opinion that is being shared, not debated

  • do not refer to others’ answers in approval or disapproval, state your own opinion

As a starting point, I chose the poem of “Good Timber” by Douglas Malloch:

"The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light, But stood out in the open plain And always got its share of rain, Never became a forest king But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil To gain and farm his patch of soil, Who never had to win his share Of sun and sky and light and air, Never became a manly man But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease: The stronger wind, the stronger trees; The further sky, the greater length; The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth, We find the patriarchs of both. And they hold counsel with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars Of many winds and much of strife. This is the common law of life."

The questions we started from were:

  1. What struck you when reading the poem?

  2. Share an inspirational/motivational event that happened to you and influenced you positively, perhaps a life-changing situation

  3. What is the thing that motivates you and keeps you motivated at the moment?

  4. What would be your further steps to keep your motivation up?

How would you reply to these?

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