We began our season last Sunday! The door is still open, so by all means join the orientation call this Saturday at 1:00-1:55pm Pacific Daylight Time (4pm Eastern, 8pm UTC) to get connected.
I think this newsletter space is mostly for keeping you informed, dear reader, but sometimes I wonder if I get even more from doing it! In sharing my learning since the kickoff session on Sunday, yet another new opportunity emerged right onto this page.
In one sense, the kickoff went great - 17 enthusiastic people together with a lot of energy toward connection and increasing contributions of participatory co-creation. On the other hand – it could have been even better! I jammed in a bunch of information, talked a lot, and we were light on actually experiencing each other. That judgement is my summary of the past three days, integrating across:
I love having all those interactions, being in a situation where I can invest time in reflection, and with others who care deeply about the same kinds of things - ignoring everyone else for a moment, this is a phenomenal learning environment for me personally.
(Now, as a personal aside: I have a history of perfectionism (attaching value/security/identity to achievement/performance) as a recovering former “gifted kid” which brings both pros and cons. Even if something went 99% right, I tend to be more interested in the 1% imperfection, and thus the word count balance here may not accurately represent reality! I’m still learning and growing in my own ability to let go of judging my own performance - without throwing out actual effectiveness and continuous improvement. Oh and if you’re trying to be of service, skip the “oh but you did such a great job!” (inside the performance paradigm) and instead go with something like “I appreciate you regardless” that brings my noticing back to the un-fusion of that no-longer-protective linkage. Now back to the topic at hand…)
Ah! One process idea I’ve had even while writing this synthesis is to name, define, and open up a “dress rehearsal” sort of run-through inside the weekly prep process: talking through the agenda, almost “simulating” it, tuning it collaboratively with a focus on perspective-gathering. As I try to steward the sense-making of the Meta Meeting with my facilitator and session design hat on, this would (through others, or even holding myself in this space) help the robustness and resonance of what comes out the other end of the week. E.g. hearing a comment last week like “hmm, that seems like a lot of process talk” would have, I think, noticeably impacted the resultant session experience!
Awareness is tricky like that, isn’t it? I already knew the session design leaned one way - and yet what was salient to me were the reasons why I was putting all that information in. My downside awareness was semi-suppressed, and only re-emerged in the felt sense of the session itself as a “bear with me, I know I’m talking a lot” comment. Again, I don’t think this were terrible by any means! But I come back again to the typical lack of self-awareness in our very consciousnesses, leading us to explicit learning loop processes for maintaining awareness and improvement.
There are other pieces I thought I’d touch on today and didn’t: The tension of holding space with a range of experience levels, dealing with worldview differences, cultivating healthy conflict… but I’m out of words and of the timebox, so I’ll hit send on this imperfect expression! Until next week, dear reader.