Creating a Healthy and Happy Education Ecosystem ~ Making Learning Come Alive in Schools and Professional Development

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Creating a Healthy and Happy Education Ecosystem ~ Making Learning Come Alive in Schools and Professional Development

“If an audience only listens, they take away 12% of your content. By making it more visual you can increase audience comprehension and remembrance to 26%. But when you actually get them involved and responding, their understanding and ‘take away’ goes to 51%.” ~ Mark Lavergne After presenting a breakout session at a conference recently, one of the participants pulled me aside and told me that the way I lead—with a healthy balance of audience participation, inquiry, open discussion and practical application—was the exception at professional development events she had attended, not the rule. She wasn’t telling me anything I hadn’t heard before. I have been told this a number of times. I have also seen how delegates learn in breakout sessions at conferences—primarily while […]

Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

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Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

“Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.” ~ Richard Bach Our beliefs define what is possible for us. They act as a lens through which we view and relate to the world. Our beliefs write manuals, curriculum and the news. They mark papers, define job descriptions, design policies and procedures, and outline meeting agendas. They decide how we should behave, what kind of person would make a good partner, and what really matters in the world. They determine what is right or wrong, good or bad based on what we experienced in the past. If we believe that silliness or messiness is bad, or that there is a “right” way to conduct business according to company policies, there is a good chance […]

Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

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Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

What if for one day you allowed everyone to be as they are? My recent article, 4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems, was so well received that I wanted to offer a follow-up article that expanded on the topic, while offering some practical tools. The tools are intended to support you to practice the principles outlined so that you may free yourself from the need to be responsible for other’s challenges or general circumstances. The practice is simple, but not necessarily easy: Where possible, practice not having an agenda for others. Note that I wrote “Where possible”. I am fully aware that there are many places where we do need to have an agenda; for instance, if you are parenting, teaching or […]

Play is Training for the Real World

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Play is Training for the Real World

What skills and attitudes are needed to live in the real world? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” ~ Woody Allen When you look at the two paths expressed in the image above, what would you say are the skills needed to travel the path above versus below? How do we need to be? What attitudes are necessary? In considering the path below, I would guess one of the first skills or attitudes you thought of was flexibility. (I say this because when I ask my playshop participants the same question it seems to always be the first answer shared, not just by one person, but many, which I find personally interesting!). I would also guess that you might […]

20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

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20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

There are some people who Yes, and some who Yes And. When we share something about ourselves with others, some people respond just by saying, “Cool”, or “Great”, or “That’s interesting.” They offer some form of acknowledgement. That’s the Yes of Yes And. And then there are those who offer an acknowledgment, AND then ask a question that further explores what we shared. They say, for instance, “Wow, that’s fascinating (Yes). What was that like for you? (And)” We love it when people show genuine interest in us. Whether it is simply a check in to see how our doctor’s appointment went, or a series of questions, it feels good when people are genuinely interested in us. It feels like the person cares about us and our […]

Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

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Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

One of the most beautiful things we can experience is a connection with another person. Being able to connect is a gift in that it gives each person the opportunity to safely open and share their authentic feelings, desires and concerns. However, often when one person meets another with an agenda, the connection is broken because he is no longer open to what the other has to say. He is not meeting her in her reality, but rather attempting to align her with his own. To align without agreement is to communicate, “I don’t agree with you, and I am still with you.” I am here for you and with you, and I am willing to open to your world even if I am not […]

4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really?  What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs. Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our […]

I wonder…

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I wonder…

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” ~Gerry Spence It is very easy to share our opinion with attachment, or even righteousness. We believe our perspective is the truth, and we deliver it as such. However, it is a real skill to share a point of view while still remaining open to others. We can do this by changing the tone of our voice to be warm or light. We can also use the child’s language of I wonder. “Wisdom is in not knowing.” ~ Deepak Chopra To be in wonder means to be open. It is an attitude of curiosity whereby we state our interest, and at the same time are open to not knowing the answer […]

7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

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7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

Collaboration happens when all voices are heard, and all contributions valued, within a safe and open space of dialogue. People feel included and are encouraged to actively participate in the discussions or creative process. Collaboration gets stuck when we believe our idea is the way. We cannot accommodate another viewpoint because we are so locked in our own. Time and tradition clouds the lens from which we view things. We get so accustomed to our ways that we fail to see the bright and new. We can empower collaboration by changing our mindset. A changed mindset can alter the way we view others, our self, and a situation. It can shift our communication to more creative and inclusive language, and expand our range of awareness […]

Playing With Change

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Playing With Change

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~ Raymond Lindquist. “But this is the way we have always done it!” Sound familiar? It is a common belief I hear in my playshops that keeps us entrenched in the past, close to what’s comfortable and familiar, and unavailable to the new. We like familiarity and certainty. It makes us feel safe and we don’t have to be creative. But our world is changing. Play is training for the unconventional. It teaches us to be present, open and flexible, holding our ourselves and our perspectives lightly. To thrive in today’s rapidly changing and uncertain world it helps to suspend belief and stay curious. We cannot hold on as tightly as we used to. We […]