《親愛的, 我老了～與時間對話特展》引進德國社會企業與時間對話系列。不同於傳統展覽形式，我們有一群70歲以上的對話引導員， 帶領觀眾想像未來理想老年生活以及認識台灣高齡現況；透過對話與體驗，翻轉一般人對「老」的刻板印象。朝邦文教基金會有幸受邀為此特展的策略夥伴，負責培訓這群銀髮對話引導員勝任關鍵角色。四月份的朝邦對話新訊息, 透過五位代表的文筆，邀請讀者感受這群滿懷生命力的長者的學習歷程。
陳堅志 (Jack Chen), 68 歲
軍人背景的我，一向被要求「服從和紀律」。因此，Yes, Sir 這句話一直深植我。事實上，軍中文化似乎比較少有「對話」或「溝通」的空間，尤其是在開會中最是明顯。如果有異議，就常會被認為是挑戰權威，或是天生反骨不服從。退伍後在民間企業工作，就很欣賞Nike的開會文化。平常的策略會議，在主持人的「引導」下，對立的雙方透過腦力激盪，很容易找出共識及解決方案。當時自己並未特別注意「引導者」（Facilitator) 的角色，但在參加這次培訓後才清楚的認識到「引導」的重要性，因為它的專業技巧是型塑成功「對話」的保証。
李逸郎, 77 歲
像選秀一樣，我們被幾位裁判，徘徊環視，緊盯著想看穿一切的巡禮中，終於被選出來接受為期三周的魔鬼特訓—對話引導員訓練。我每天輾轉三趟車程到偏遠科教館路程接受特訓，我們不知甚麼是｢ 對話引導員 ｣？如何｢ 對話 ｣？如何｢ 引導 ｣？但像訓練模特兒一樣，朝邦基金會的四位老師，訓練這一批平均年齡超過七十的酥鬆老傢伙，確實是別開生面第一遭。
終於， 在老師們耐心教導與禮遇尊崇的生活教育下，慢慢揭開序幕。對話引導員必須｢ 話題 ｣聚焦，｢ 對話 ｣輕鬆愉快。可是引導員一旦上台，卻緊張而語無倫次，把這些闖蕩江湖數十年的功夫高手，折磨得五體投地，深深感受到德國人的要求模式﹣嚴謹務實-的高難度! 3月25日現場時境演出的時刻終於到了，當在記者們面前大聲唱出｢ 祝你﹣天天年輕 ｣時，我們真的變年輕了。
拿到高發會印製給我們｢ 對話引導員 ｣名片時，我知道我必須繼續用心的，把每一位觀眾的思維及反思，引導進入那美好的想像中的老人世界，也就是我們的社會即將面臨的將來的｢ 老 ｣的世界。
備註: 《親愛的，我老了─與時間對話》台灣第一個熟齡特展, 展期 2016/3/25-6/05
Dialogue with Time – Reflections from the senior dialogue guides
“Honey, I am old- Dialogue with Time” exhibition was brought in from “Dialogue with Time: The Art of Aging” of Dialogue Social Enterprise in Germany. This interactive exhibition is radically different from traditional exhibitions. Senior dialogue guides who are over 70 years old facilitate the activities and guide the audience to envision what happy aging could be; information on Taiwan’s ageing society is also shared. Through the dialogue and experiential activities, the exhibition is intended to transform peoples’ stereotypical images on aging. As a strategic partner for the exhibition, CP Yen Foundation is honored and responsible to provide training for the senior dialogue guides. The April newsletter is written by five senior guides to share their reflections on their learning journey which was full of passion and inspiration.
Jack Chen, 68
Serving as the dialogue guide in “The “Dialogue with Time” exhibition is my debut volunteering experience. It was an extraordinary journey for me. Not only I made friends with some really “happy and healthy” seniors, I also became acquainted with the CP Yen Foundation and International Association of Facilitators.
My military background had made “obedience” a habit for me. The phrase “Yes, Sir” had been deeply embedded in my mentality. In fact, there seems to be very little room for “dialogues” or “communication” inside the military environment, especially during the meetings. Disagreements are often viewed as challenging the authority or being rebellious. After I left the military, I started working in private sectors; I really liked the meeting culture within Nike. During the regular strategic meetings, through facilitation, disagreeing parties can quickly reach consensus and find solutions through brainstorming. Back then, I wasn’t aware of the role of facilitators. After attending this training program, I came to realize the importance of facilitation. This professional facilitation skill is essential to a successful dialogue experience.
During the three-week training, the trainers at CP Yen (facilitators Tara Hsueh, Vincent Chen, Jackie Chang, and Jorie Wu) guided us through theoretical background and actual applications, helping us- a bunch of happy seniors, with exercises in listening, facilitating dialogue, transitioning, and handling of unexpected incidents. We even practiced designing our own scripts. The training content was rich and useful despite of unexpected episodes! The only flaw was the delay construction of the venue affecting the practice on site. However it did not affect our 42 young hearts. We were READY!
Finally came the opening day, March 25th! Only when we actually led the dialogue tour, did we come to appreciate the importance of listening and inquiry. When facilitating the old lady and a little child to share their ideas, we used all the skills we learned, such as “ It’s OK. Take your time. Paraphrasing, encouraging and recognizing”. When the visitors started talking, it meant we succeeded. Every time we guided the visitors we had to build a sense of trust among these vastly different strangers and to bring consensus. No words can describe the sense of achievement earned from the dialogue guide experience.
The exhibition was brought in from Germany. Taiwan has the first exhibition in Asia. For Taiwan, a society that is rapidly aging, it is a very important event. As senior dialogue guides, we felt 10 years younger after our training. We sincerely hope everyone who had visited the exhibition can rethink about aging and what it takes to live a happy and healthy older life.
Hu Mei-Chi, 86
I am an ageless senior. Although my biological age is 87, my life style is still that of my 60 years’. Five years ago, I retired and am living in a relaxed and natural environment. I came to notice the volunteer program for the “Dialogue with Time” by accident at the library. The ambitious side of me drove me to try it out. After passing the written and verbal tests, I felt so happy. I had proven to myself that I wasn’t old! I was so excited to participate at the training organized by the Taiwan Active Aging Association. The training was conducted by the trainers from CP Yen Foundation. I was so delighted by the training process. In my younger days, I was used to the traditional way of learning: Questions and answers were all from the books. Teachers just had to read the content; students just had to memorize everything. This time, the training program really opened up my horizon. Our trainers only raised questions and the answers were facilitated from the discussion of the 42 participants. Two weeks into the training, our classroom walls were filled with the issues we discussed. Imagine how exciting it was when 42 of us brainstormed all ideas! It was such an unexpected gift for me. The three-week training quickly came to a stop; yet, the feeling of energy remained. It’s so great to be young again!
James, Lee Yi-Lang, 77
It was like being in a pageant, we were selected as senior dialogue guides after careful observation by a panel of judges. For the following three weeks, every day I took three different buses for the training at National Taiwan Science Education Center. Although none of us knew what was “dialogue guide” and how to “dialogue” and “facilitate”, the training by the four trainers from CP Yen Foundation was new and interesting to us- a bunch of oldies with average age of over 70 years old.
Through the patient and respectful guidance from our trainers, our journey slowly began. Dialogue guides must focus on the“topic”and proceed dialogue in a relaxed and pleasant setting. Strangely enough, every time we step up on the podium, we were still nervous and rambled despite that we are sophisticated in life experiences. The practical but meticulous attitude taken by the Germans made our learning even more challenging. When March 25th finally arrived, we sang the theme song “Hope you are happy every day” and we really felt so much younger!
When I received the name cards from Taiwan Active Aging Association, printed with the title of “Dialogue guide”, I knew then I will continue to practice my skills to guide all the members of the audience to envision the beautiful imaginary world of the aging; a fact that our society will be facing in the future.
Chiu Tse-Yi, Captian, 84
I am Chiu Tse-Yi. I am 85 years old. I was lucky to be selected as a senior dialogue guide for this special exhibition. Even though the legitimate age for recruitment is 65 above, I still felt 85 was too old. That was why I didn’t expect to be selected. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I received the notice in mid-December.
It was not an easy task to train 42 seniors of average age of 70 in two classes with daily 3-hour training sessions. Starting on March 7th, every weekday from 1 to 4:30 pm, we had to participate at the trainings. The trainers at CP Yen Foundation were all very experienced and committed. The training included discussions in small groups, basic introduction of dialogue and facilitation, practical exercises on asking questions and facilitating, discussions, introduction of the exhibition, and transitions. By March 24th, even though the exhibition venue was not completed, we went there to get an onsite experience anyway.
The decision to incorporate seniors over age 65 was a wise one. These are people with exciting real-life experience, particularly the experience on aging. With the guidance of the skillful facilitators, we will definitely offer wonderful insight for the visitors.
Hua Mei-Ling, 73
2016 is the most illuminating year in my life. I allocated ample time to participate at the “Dialogue with Time” exhibition as a senior dialogue guide. The experience not only helped our fellow seniors to learn more new knowledge about the science of aging, but also motivated every dialogue guide to gain more self-recognition for participating and succeeding at an international event!
The three-week training program was fulfilling and practical. The four excellent trainers from CP Yen Foundation provided training on “How to be a Successful Dialogue Facilitator”. During the training, we learned the key essences in listening, inquiry, summarizing, and transiting, as well as the skills for handling unexpected situations. Through the training, I became really appreciative of the power of questions. It’s an art of communication; it can also be helpful for creating a positive environment. The warm and positive interaction among the trainers served as great examples for us. Each session was fun and trustful. I am grateful to the trainers for showing us the path of endless learning; there is always room for learning and improving.
The exhibition had started for nearly a month. By now each and every one of us has crafted our skills in real situations. We are fully equipped with the necessary skills to handle all aspects of the exhibition. The smiles and nods of the visitors and the experience of the exhibition are all parts of the dialogue experience.
We have witnessed the dedication, commitment, and professionalism in our partners. We are also parts of the exhibition, adding style and examples to the exhibition. We sincerely hope “Dialogue with Time” can be an island-wide event for everyone in Taiwan, so they can all enjoy a healthy,fulfilling, graceful, and happy aging life.
Note: 《Honey，I am old- Dialogue with Time》is the unprecedented exhibition on aging in Taiwan, starting 2016/3/25-6/05.
For more information, please visit http://www.activeagingtw.org/DWT