I visit the University of Canberra each Wednesday to meet with colleagues, research students and coaches and when possible drink coffee together.
At noon we share pizzas in the Mizzuna’s cafe. The unmeeting goes on for the best part of two hours with people coming and going as their schedule permits.
Just before a meeting with a coach, I noticed this tweet from Harold Jarche
Nope. Don't build around technologies. Build around people. Understand people. Hire an anthropologist. Hire a psychologist. Listen. Watch. Learn. Without people, our organizations are nothing. https://t.co/b86lqCP7d6
— Harold Jarche (@hjarche) February 6, 2018
The anthropologist suggestion was particularly timely. I was about to meet a coach from Japan who has spent a year in Canberra as an assistant coach. She is head coach of her university basketball team in Japan. She has been coaching for ten years after a career as a professional basketball player and has postgraduate qualifications in psychology.
We have met most weeks during on the year to discuss her experiences and her use of observation and analysis.
This week this is where our conversation took us (in her notebook):
Our conversation started with the way coaches treat athletes. My question was ‘Now that you have experienced Australian basketball, what will change when you meet your students in the next academic year?’
We were still talking after two hours and have a plan to develop an action research project in the 2018-2019 seasons in Japan and Australia.
I left thinking we had conversed in a way that Harold would have approved. Most importantly, we had talked about personal connections through coaching and learned a great deal from each other about being a professional stranger in a culture.
Mizzuna’s through Theodolite (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)