Canada

Feds paying $150Gs for human relationships workshops

A federal agency is paying $150,000 to send employees for “contemplative dialogue” workshops.

Under the program, trainers fly to Calgary for four-day seminars on “awareness and the human person,” according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

The workshops — sought out by the agency, Canada Energy Regulator — include topics such as  “contemplative dialogue.” The seminars focus on “awareness and the human person” and how to conduct smoother meetings.

“This is not much of a large investment for a large payback,” Steven Wirth, executive director of the Center for Contemplative Dialogue of Georgetown, Ind., told Blacklock’s Reporter.

“It’s communications skills,” Wirth said. “We are a registered U.S. charity. We work a lot with the Alberta provincial government.”

The Canada Energy Regulator paid just shy of $50,000 for similar workshops a couple of years ago. The oil and gas regulator said in a notice the $150,000 would see “select staff attend four-day intensive training on active engagement” with follow-up “coaching and mentoring.” The agency, formerly the National Energy Board, did not respond to multiple requests for comment by Blacklock’s Reporter.

A previous workshop attendee described the experience as profound.

“The most profound aspects for me have been the ‘power of the pause’ and the ability to see others with more compassion,” wrote Scott Milligan, executive director of the Alberta Department of Environment planning branch. “I’ve had so many good experiences with pausing.

“In highly charged discussions, the ability to pause allows me an opening to see a person with compassion rather than as an ‘entity’ to be challenged by my own strong views.”

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