Mutual Invitation. This may be an unfamiliar phrase but it clicked when I read Lori’s post last Thursday about hearing other people and also when I read this quote about the nature of love on Ruth’s blog.
Have you ever taken a class or taken part in a committee meeting that is dominated by one person? Mutual Invitation is a discussion style that allows each person in the room to be heard. Yes, that means it works best with smaller groups, but it does work.
In Mutual Invitation, each person gets a chance to have their say on a set topic. The facilitator starts it off by inviting one person in the group to share their concerns, opinion, and/or ideas. That person can pass, but he or she is still invited to speak. At the end of their turn, that person invites the next person to speak.
At first, it sounds a little hokey, but think about it. Each person in the group gets a chance to be heard. It doesn’t matter if they are the pastor, a senator or out of work trucker, each person has the same opportunity to speak. There isn’t one person speaking over another. No one has to wave their hand around to try to get someone else’s attention. And each person passes this opportunity on to someone else.
The message is clear. You matter. I want to hear what you have to say.
The quiet or the overlooked. The very young and the very old. Everyone has a chance to be heard. Now all we have to do is listen.