Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shyness & facilitating connections between others

I'm shy and introverted, yet I spend much of my time facilitating connections between other people. What's up with that?

Earlier this month, I organized and co-facilitated a bunch of large events. During one of them, a room full of people were enthusiastically networking, as a part of an event to match nonprofits with pro bono consultants. In the middle of this event, I went out in the hallway and questioned my sanity. Being in a room full of people mingling is one of my images of torture. I was one of the people who had the idea for the event and made it happen.

When a colleague and I came up with the idea for this activity, I was energized by the conversation and the idea of a creative way to address an unmet need. I enjoyed getting other partners on board with the idea. And as tiring as mingling can be for me, building a broad and diverse network of people I work with is important to me. I find that acting as a facilitator pushes me out of my introverted tendencies in ways that are quite useful for me, and my tendencies to step back, listen and notice things seems helpful for others. Heck, I even met my wife when I was organizing and facilitating a workshop.

But what the painful moment in the hallway reminded me was that I don't just want to facilitate broad and shallow networking. I want to focus my facilitation work on deep, long-term, transformative relationships and action. I'd like to invite you to the retreat and "deep dive" that are listed below. They are both designed, in different ways, to make space for deep and generative connections--connections to sources of wisdom, connections with others, and connections to bold leadership.

Leading from Source Retreat

August 13
Victoria, MN

I invite you to spend a day in a beautiful place listening for, expressing, and practicing what it means to "Lead from Source." There is a way of leading that trusts that an invisible source, much larger than our own will and limiting perspectives, is seeking to work through us individually and together...
Find out more

Leading Innovation Deep Dive Workshop

September 15-16
Minneapolis, MN 

Are you working with a diverse network of people to solve complex social challenges? Would you like to be?
We invite you to learn and practice an approach to collective innovation that is collaborative, experimental, and committed to transformative results.
Find out more


No comments: