Sunday, October 2, 2011

Deep and shallow participation in CCA

As we interact in different capacity in the Culture Centering Approach, one interesting dynamic that continue to play out is the dichotomy between deep and shallow participation. Some group members are deeply engaged and are very clear about the objectives in each phase of the project, and the processes. They are very innovative and always offer unique perspectives for achieving results. On the other hand, some group members seem not to fully grasp the CCA process on the surface, or unclear about necessary steps in each phase of the of the project. But the interesting thing is that while they may seem unsure about the process or may not be creative like the deeply engaged group, there is a sense of ownership and commitment to the project goals. You can decipher their deep commitment to the project through their non-verbal actions e.g. facial expressions, their enthusiasm and interest in the CCA processes during group interactions. Such kind of enthusiasm is worth acknowledging. This dynamic is representative of academic description of explicit and implicit participation. An important lesson I believe is our ability to recognize the enthusiasm in the collective interest and work with both deep and shallow participants. This is an important lesson because failure to acknowledge and recognize the unique contributions of every member might lead to the dismissal of some members as unimportant, a categorization that may negatively impact a CCA project.

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