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  • Writer's pictureMariam Smith

Painting people with light, colour, and shape.

Power can be such an ugly word and I see people almost cringe at the sound of the word. Many of us are oblivious as to how much power we have, that through our words and our practices, we exclude and include people. Maybe that is good sometimes- it can be overwhelming to think how much responsibility we actually have in the things that we do and say!

I chatted with a wise policeman the other day- and found that much of their work is like any other process engaging with social complex change. If our goal is to see behavioural change, we have a responsibility to engage in relationships in ways that give them a chance to participate or change! Our strategies have to go beyond labelling people as “good” and “bad”.

I think it is a lot about giving people hope. Our middle son said last night, we can do two things. Either we paint people as black and fuzzy or as if they have a lot of light, colour, and shape.

Painting them with light, colour, and shape is something we have the power to do, but this requires relationships with those often excluded.

An organisation I worked with last week already had an impressive amount of people they saw as part of the vision. One of the participants exclaimed that using Outcome Mapping he felt challenged to get to know the “Boundary Partners” even more in order to know that this his vision for them also could match theirs.

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