Here is the scenario - simple and straight forward.
I have worked, in the past 3 months with 2 different groups of bankers. Thinking that, by the stereotype and I know that is wrong, but I am human and have my faults (for those keeping track, I am sure my husband would appreciate you sending this acknowledgement in writing) and I thought that this would be a tough crowd.
Well, the first group was out if their chairs and engaging in seconds. It was an excellent session with great participation and collaboration, sharing and learning. I leave thinking "this is cool - perhaps an anomaly but cool"
This week, head off to a different area to facilitate a similar session with The same type of people - more bankers! Guess what? They were just as much fun - engaged, loud and learning, strategizing in a whole new way.
I had to pause on the drive home and mull this over. First, I was a little nervous entering the second group - not my usual space, never met my client in person before - this was a strictly word-of-mouth referral. Secondly, I have been working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable - read: vulnerable & open minded - well, this was easily recognized and I had to gather myself together a little more than usual before I started.
I had watched a great Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy with a client the previous week & decided to put this into action - do the power stance. It worked. I became more calm. I opened my mind more to expect the unexpected and it happened.Here is the lesson as a leader - thinking you know what you are getting into allows you to accept stereotypes, closing the mind. Going forward, my focus will be to set my intention for presence and an open-mind so that I can fully experience each interaction from either side of the facilitation or discussion or connection.