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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

It has been fantastic observing our students settle into their first full week of learning. I have been very impressed with the settled nature of our students and the way they have got straight into a focus on their academic learning.

On Monday at assembly our student leaders presented their vision to our students via an innovative video presentation. Our students were suitably impressed. It was pleasing to see our student leaders speaking to our student community with a specific focus on high academic achievement.

I would like to congratulate our 1st XI on a tremendous week of positive results. On Monday night our 1st XI were presented with the trophy for winning their section in Term 4. Current captain, Fraser Buckley, and Will Andrews attended the awards evening. Alongside these two members of our 1st XI, I would also like to acknowledge 2018 captain, Conor Fitzgerald, and vice captain, Harry Mayo, alongside coach, Brendan Fitzgerald, who achieved a great season and have set up a great future pathway for the cricketers in the future.

A huge congratulations to our Coast to Coast team of Cormack, Cam, and Josh who finished 3rd in the schools section. This is a massive achievement.

I include a piece from Br Peter Clinch, province leader from the Christian Brothers, who speaks of the importance of listening and taking the time to connect with those around us.  In the fast paced world we live in today, it is often that we pseudo listen – it is in this moment where we lack the true connection to relate to whomever it is we are communicating with.

Generative Listening is foundational to authentic dialogue. Such listening does not come naturally. It is an art that requires practice and specific disposition, so that both speaker and listener connect. Generative Listening enables a level of connection, between the one who speaks and the one who listens, that is truly generative, that is, it creates new possibilities for action that neither parties have thought of or even expected before the conversation.

For completeness of this article, I have repeated the seven principles for Generative Listening offered by Matthieu Daum that were outlined in the Province Weekly News of 17th August last year.

1. Slowing down and noticing more of what is present. Letting go of recent and future events in order to be fully present in the here and now. Generative Listening calls for full attention and engagement and not to be distracted by other forms of communication such as phone messages and emails. Good facilitation allows for a period of time for participants to slow down and enter a reflective space.

2. Listening with all my senses and not just with my ears. Listening is the source of wise and profound spoken words.

3. Listening to the words and images chosen by the speaker. Speaking is like painting with words. The chosen images / words of the speaker give added insight to the speaker’s intention.

4. Listening and noticing the emotions conveyed by the person who is talking.

5. Suspending judgement is probably the most difficult of the seven principles to embrace for Generative Listening.

6. Noticing what I don’t understand or what trigger questions are raised for me rather than what I don’t like about what I am hearing. It may be helpful to write down such questions rather than interrupting the speaker.

7. What do I feel as I listen to what is being said and why? It is important to connect with my own feelings as I am listening, as feelings are a filter to what is being said and affect interpretation and response.