Celebrate Every Win – or Every Absent Loss

My back was sore yesterday. No big deal, except that I have a history of back trouble. It’s been feeling very good for a very long time. Until yesterday. Leading me to wonder if I was heading back down a familiar, unwelcome road. No thanks.

Then today, I woke up feeling normal. My disk had slipped back into place and I had slipped back into my regular routine. Yesterday, I could barely imagine ever lifting a basket of laundry again. Today, no problem. (I still didn’t. But I could have!)

It’s amazing how a day of discomfort floods a day of normalcy with gratitude. I have been very thankful all day. Continue reading “Celebrate Every Win – or Every Absent Loss”

Opening the Black Box of Decision-Making

It’s no wonder people can be cynical about the value of stakeholder engagement. They submit their ideas and never see them again.

We’re getting better at engaging people, better at assuring them their input matters, better perhaps at telling them their input is being considered alongside other inputs, and occasionally better at telling them what was eventually decided. But the path between their input and that decision is still largely shrouded in mystery.

Continue reading “Opening the Black Box of Decision-Making”

Chronic Responsiveness

I write on being nimble and responsive to changing conditions from the “front of the room,” perhaps when you are running a meeting, workshop or negotiation. Much of our ability to excel at this comes from detailed preparation, self-awareness and practice. And it really helps to be well-rested and well-nourished in the moment.

Even with all of that, nimble facilitation is tiring. It requires a good dose of adrenaline, and a crash inevitably follows. Continue reading “Chronic Responsiveness”

Correct or Curious?

Would you rather be curious, or correct?

I remember hearing someone describe a lesson he was taught as a child: “It’s better to be nice than to be right.”

I was shocked. Is it? (That is clearly not a childhood lesson I learned. Our family is perhaps too good at being “right.”)

This idea really turns the attention outward, doesn’t it? How different it is to be in conversation with someone who asks questions rather than making pronouncements. Continue reading “Correct or Curious?”