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Ready For A Little Transformation?

Magnolia tree in my garden

Every year at this season, I am fascinated as I watch the transformation from winter to spring as the trees bud and bloom.

This miraculous change prompts me to wonder, and so I offer this question to you:

What do you want to transform in your life, your work, or your organization?

Over my desk, I have 2 large post-its from a facilitated historical wall we did a few years ago in lieu of a second family Passover Seder. These post-its say “Freedom from / Freedom to”. I can’t exactly remember the exact moment of aha on that evening, or the thinking that got us there.

This inspires me

These words still personally resonate today:

Freedom from beliefs, assumptions, biases and strictures that don’t serve me, that do me no good, that hold me back, that enslave me, or others, or don’t empower me.

Freedom to choose, think, and act with an open mind and heart, and break off self-imposed shackles; take responsibility.

And what holds us back from doing so?

We may fear the unknown, failing or even succeeding. Maybe there is something in the current way that we feel serves us.

This weekend I saw the movie, The Best of Enemies, a true story about a black civil rights advocate and a Ku Klux Klan leader filled with rage and hate, yet who found a way to transform their understanding of each other and their environment. It actually shows off the work of a skilled facilitator. My husband even leaned over and said, “Oh, this is what you do!" Thankfully, I have never facilitated a meeting as charged as was in the movie, but I do get to witness transformation on a regular basis. And it is pretty awesome.

Transformation takes courage, insight, and a willingness to look differently, to let go, and be open to something new.

The Technology of Participation (ToP) Facilitation Methods were designed for group transformation. I’m clear this is why I like them so much, in addition to my experience of how well they work. These are the three basic methods:

  • The Focused Conversation Method helps the group move from individual to shared understanding, in an easy and safe way. It has never failed me.

  • The Consensus Workshop quickly offers a stimulating path for agreement, and shared learning.

  • The Action Planning Method easily and efficiently creates group plans and promotes action.


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