Sunday (20th Dec 09). There is a spirit of Christmas everywhere. Especially in the Hospital where we gathered for our weekly meetings. Atmosphere was sunny and fun- so we decided not to go indoors but conduct our real life training with anyone we could find near OPD.
First, sachin phoned Shamsher (Delhi) and everyone practiced talking to him on phone, telling their names etc. Communication demands are higher on phone since you can not read the facial cues of the other person, to fine tune your communication efforts; body language of both parties are of little use.
Next, we found a group of three which was in a rush to go into the ward to see a friend of theirs- but, we were able to convince them to stay and talk to us; Yes, we had to use a little bit of self-assertion (and some cheating). Then, we talked to another person at some length. During all this discussion, we had to practice-
1. focusing on our own act of talking (rather than worrying about what the other guy may or may not be thinking about us)-
2. Bouncing wherever we felt the pressure coming on..
3. completing what we set out to say, no matter what..
4. maintaining eye contact
5. Listening attentively (checked afterward through a recall exercise)
Some of us, like sachin, showed off their girl friend too (voluntary stuttering). The second person, we spoke too, asked us a riddle; he also taught us something about convincing the other guy, without raising your voice! A dog joined us happily. Do dogs ever stammer?
Before parting- we, Parmanand, Vineet, Aman, Nishu, Surendra and sachin decided to visit Fatehpur, next Sunday or a similar “transfer” exercise. (Transfer- learning to apply your speech skills to outside world).