I said this some time ago and at the time it was one of those throw-away things that one says – or in this case, tweets – just to sort of be in there and contributing and like that. And Luke, being who he is, picked it up and ran with it, joyfully, like it was a kite and I watched it catching the wind and floating up and up. And every so often now I catch another glimpse of it somewhere and wonder at its strength and simplicity – just like a kite.
And I’ve said this before and I need to say it again, just to reasssure myself that indeed listening and asking are as simple and as strong as they always have been. This week I have delved into stuff that pads out and points and plasters this very simple dictum: stuff like “strong form CLT versus weak form CLT”. All that says is, if it is the “strong form” we talk about what YOU want to talk about and if it is the “weak form”, we talk about what I want to talk about. And as teachers, guides, facilitators, coaches, communication partners, interlocutors or whatever it is you wish to call yourself, if you are NOT talking about what the person in front of you wants to talk about, why not?
And then there is all that nonsense about whether we need to focus on the linguistic aspect, or the communicative aspect, or the inter-cultural aspect, or the interpersonal aspect of communication. Sod off! Where does one start and the other end? LISTEN to the person in front of you (not an easy task) ASK them anything at all (when did you last ask a question that you really wanted to know the answer to?) and get on with the task at hand. Stop couching it in verbiage and dense theoretical claptrap and other shades and masks. Let the kite catch the wind and then – when it asks you to – let it go.