In the context of dialogue facilitation, I have found that I am triggered when minority needs are not realized. I am using “minority” broadly to mean anyone who can be secluded or alone. For example, I have a really good (white) friend that is really good at pulling details together to reach a broad concept. I found myself paying more attention to how broad concepts influence individuals. I would get a little annoyed as I watched for people’s reactions to a particular idea. I wanted to address certain individuals, but my friend would overlook such micro-activities to make a thing political.

This was important to me because, as a person who has often been overlooked, I pay close attention to how others are excluded. There would be times when the group would leave sessions and I felt a shadow of disappointment or dissatisfaction. These would be the times where I felt the lowest, and like I could have done more to counteract.

As I know that there are constraints on spaces, I know that every single need cannot be met every single time. There was a time when I wrote my student participants letters to acknowledge them in ways that I could not in a larger groups. I found that simple acts of thoughtful acknowledgement (or appreciative inquiry) could be what someone needs for motivation. I will continue to appreciate those around me in ways that may not be comfortable to me. It is more valuable to me to make someone feel appreciated than to just go with the flow of what the majority group wants.


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