Pip Wilson & Conversation

Some things about being British are very weird, especially, I think, our levels of reserve and cliched conversation. To learn English you’d really only need certain key (negative) comments about the weather and you be eighty per cent there. You’d also need to know that the response to,
How are you?” is automatically, “fine!”
I’m so conditioned into this that even if I go to my Doctor and he asks, I say, “Fine ………………. er no, I’m ill!”
Where’s all this going? Well it’s funny you should ask. I think the way we communicate is a really good thing to unpack with young people and Pip Wilson (one of my youth work heroes) provides a great way of doing just that.
If you haven’t got “Pip Wilsons Spectacular Stinking Rolling Magazine Book” then you need to buy it, NOW!
In it (p25) he explores 5 levels of conversation. These are really great to work through with young people particularly on a residential. The Five levels are:
1. Cliche
2. Facts
3. Opinion
4. Feelings
5. Total Openness

It’s great to get people in pairs and get them to converse for a minute only using Cliches, then facts and then opinions. Then exploring who we are real with and what that involves. It’s awesome to see young people reflecting on how much banter is a cover and exploring when/how we can be more real.
Great fun on one of our residentials when this led to great conversation pre-fixes, the teens would say, “Can I be level 4 with you for a moment?”

One Reply to “Pip Wilson & Conversation”

  1. Ah, fantastic! I was trying to remember the different levels of relationship just yesterday! How weird! Thank you for being psychic. They really are so accurate – I feel I should refer to them much more often in my general daily analysis of life.

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