Chaplaincy is about really listening to people
What does that have to do with Stanford's D-School? Today I Lyfted one of their professors. She described a process she uses for her stressed-out, high-achieving, goal-focused students - and not just design students. The exercise is called an Odyssey where they draft three (hopefully) very different versions of their 5 year plans, then present it to a small group - with rules of engagement.
"They really listen to the speaker and keep the energy on them by asking good questions." She said.
"That is so interesting, tell me more." I said while driving her to her early morning workout at Alta Plaza. It was before 7 am on a rare (these days) foggy morning in San Francisco.
"They ask questions, in a non-critical way - like its their problem and they need it explained to them."
" Oh, can you unpack that a bit?" I asked.
"OK, it is like this, say a student wants to go and work on a Organic farm in Switzerland...a listening student might say...'Oh, Organic farming. I am curious what it is about Switzerland that calls you? I am not sure I understand." She took a breath. It was obvious she really liked what she did and was good at it, too.
I said as much to her, too. She agreed.
"A teacher is really a holy profession. You never know what impact you will have on a life or a generation...you just put it out there and hope some of the questions and the good listening helps them 'unravel life's complications.'"
I said it like a chaplain...but also like a designer because they have to listen well, too.
on a Chaplain's life