by Author Daniel Edmund

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XLR Collective (Session) 7/8/17

Weekly XLR session. Debreif from latest gig as well as personal coaching session.

Coming right off the back from their latest gig last Sunday at the 'Festival of What If', we met back up with our collective Hack a Heckle to debrief from their performance and to introduce the team to the practice of personal coaching which they will be engaging with more in the coming weeks. 

The evening's session was run by Mena Fombo who heads the Young People's program at the Knolwe West Media Centre and who works specifically with mentoring, advising and coaching. We began with a few exercises that were implemented to help the group change their energy from the day to facilitate a better environment for the night. These included screaming positive affirmations, stretching and walking around the room. After that the team watched a short clip about personal coaching which was followed by the entire room pairing off to speak to each other for 90 seconds (one at a time) without being interrupted or being given/giving feedback. Many of the young people identified that this was a challenge as its natural to want to engage with people while their speaking but learned that often leads to us 'hijacking' people's conversations. The full coaching strategy was then acted out in a live example from Mena and one of the members from the group. Having the coaching model now explained and shown the room then broke into different pairs and went to coach each other for 10 minutes each. This proved to be a great practice to build confidence and to show the team that they have a lot to offer to other people as well as themselves.

After a short break a thorough debrief from the weekend's gig was initiated. The conversation showed just how much the collective has grown from the beginning of this program to now. Though the team all agreed that musically they did well and that it benefited them to perform live again (the more the better) the group identified that the venue as well as the festival wasn't the right audience as it was predominantly (very) young children with their parents and didn't feel it was appropriate to speak about particular matters that their campaign deals with in that particular type of environment. Moving forward they agreed to book their own gigs and to find out adequate information about the demographic of people that would be at each venue they performed at and if it was a good fit for their campaign's endeavours to be involved.

Hack a Heckle continue to progress and are now working on their EP to debut next month. Watch this space!