Monday, May 11, 2015

The Power of an Actionable Workshop: lessons from the Mental Warrior

(my apologies if this seems like shameless on to find out)

On one of the biggest days of my business (and professional development) year - Leadercast Day, the most unexpected, and unplanned for event occurred.  This is not pretty - we had a power outage and I could only present 1/2 of the presentation.

I had a room full of attendees who had just finished a great lunch, and were networking and enjoying the beautiful sunshine and 85 degree day when a blip occurred and we (along with an entire grid-section in our area) were without power.  With 20 minutes left to go before we restart for the afternoon sessions, in collaboration with our venue host - who is scrambling to figure out what is going on...such grace & calm under pressure, together we decide to wait until there is 5 minutes before out start to make any announce.  At the same time, he and I determine that we can set 3 different contingency plans in place - and we did.  (At the utmost service at all times, he was willing to open his theatre for us on any day of the week or weekend at anytime and be there himself to ensure everything went off without a hitch).

At 5 minutes to our afternoon session, we were given information that the power would not be restored for at least 2-3 hours.  That being said I needed to inform the group.  On such a nice day, people were everywhere, so we needed to get everyone into seats to inform them of next steps.

I was able to thank them, share the options and put myself in the centre of gathering their information for next steps.  In less than 15 minutes, we had all attendees taken care of with their chosen option.  Done.

When I find myself in these situations, and there have been a few, I go to resolving what needs to be done and making sure everyone is as satisfied as the situation can allow. While I missed the opportunity to share in the Leadercast experience for the rest of the day with these wonderful community & like-minded leaders, I did get the morning.

At my desk later is when I experienced the 'freak-out' and the impossible task of making myself realize that 'I can't take this personally'.  Mother Nature did not conspire against me to cut the power.  It is not the universe telling me I should not be hosting events of this scale.  I did not let my attendees down.  This was not easy.  So what did I do....

I stepped back and remembered the Actionable Workshop I had just completed with a team, and also with my Actionable Team, called The Mental Warrior.  This workshop is inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz book The Four Agreements.  One of the Four Agreements is to not take things personally - it goes along with Be Impeccable to Your Word, Don't Make Assumptions & Always Do Your Best.

While I needed to wallow for a moment in my little pity-party for a moment, I was quickly able to recall the feelings of the morning sessions and know that we had delivered a solid presentation to that time.  We had delivered our best.  I had provided clarity around contingencies and then delivered on that too.

So what am I saying really?  The power of Actionable Workshops not only impacts the team with which they are being facilitated, the facilitator, no matter how many times they facilitate, can learn, grow and take action in new ways.  Our experiences inform what we take away from each workshop and what we learn about anything, ourselves included, we cannot unlearn - what we can do is re-apply our learning in new ways.

Disclaimer:  I work with the Actionable Books Leadership Team as well as am a Leadership Coach that uses the licensed Actionable Workshop materials in my daily work with clients.

1 comment:

Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

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