Neale's Blog

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Acknowledging Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein

I've just been rather tearfully watching a press conference by Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein, who was talking about progress and the currently stalled talks in the Northern Ireland peace process.

Why I was tearful is that the way in which Gerry Adams spoke came from a new model of communication, where what is possible for the world is for World Leaders to be truly communicating, rather than continuing to be defensive.

It reminded me of when I got to embrace a new model of communication when I did a course called Communication: Access to Power a few years ago.

One of the concepts in Communication: Access to Power, is "Acknowledgement". In the context of a "New Model of Communication" (as explored during the course), "Acknowledgement" can be defined as "Saying what we can all agree to be true, in a way that creates a new future" (rather than what we normally do with our default model of communication, which is to flatter people, probably because we want to get something!).

Acknowledging is what Gerry Adams was doing. He Acknowledged all those IRA soldiers who have fought, and are now willing to take the brave step of giving up their arms and embracing a new future for their children. He Acknowledged all other Republicans for their hard work and courage.

He Acknowledged his "adversaries", the Unionists, and Iain Paisley, for their willingness and courage to find common ground.

So. Here is my acknowledgement for Gerry Adams.

Gerry. You spoke with courage, vulnerability and openness. Your words created a new future for what is possible for peace. All of you involved in the peace process and power sharing arrangements in Northern Ireland are paving the way for global peace. You are leaders, and we acknowledge who you are for the world, and for the people of Northern Ireland. The last 10 years of peace in Northern Ireland have been down to your teamwork. Thankyou.