Some Guided Journaling Questions

After hosting many people in forms of direct conversation together, I love to mix in a little deliberate inner reflection.

Last week, it was placed toward the end of a three day gathering, so as to give participants a little more convergence energy, some clarity of what they were leaving with. And, it was at the end of a five month cohort leadership development program that I created and hosted with my colleague and friend, Glen Brown.

I put on some music. I invited people to write sentences, or to make notes, or to draw images. For each question, three minutes.

  1. In the spirit of “used to be but now I am”, how do you feel your leadership has changed over these five months? (Change)
  2. Who are the people that you know you wish to stay in touch with, to keep learning with? Is there a wild card person in that? (People)
  3. What are three important learnings that you want to carry forward with you? (Learning, Practice)
  4. What is at the core of the gift that you bring to leadership? What is the growing edge? (Gift, Edge)
  5. If you had full permission to be kind to yourself, what would you do daily, weekly, monthly? (Kindness to Self, Kindness with Other)
  6. What inspires you most about being in this industry? (Inspires)
  7. What is the commitment you can make today to continue your growth as a leader? (Growth, Commitment)

This was a context explicitly offered as leadership development. So, some of the questions are deliberately pointed back to that purpose. However, slight shifts in these questions bring out growth and commitment and practice as a human being also.

I love pulling people into these moments in which their commitments to job intersect with their commitments to humanness. I love seeing people open to a deeper inner that then carries them into the many forms of outer.

A Cafe on Continuous Improvement

I’m grateful to have learned World Cafe many years ago from Juanita Brown, David Isaacs, Meg Wheatley, Toke Moeller, and Bob Stilger. These were people who were practicing simplicity of guided connection in form. I’m grateful to have continued to learn and practice with many others over the years. Again, connection with some shape — flow within some river banks.

Last week I co-hosted a simple cafe that was centered on continuous improvement. With a group of people that work in a rather complex operational context. We offered this focus and format with intent to cultivate improvement energy and commitment.

Something like this.

  • A little setup about this format for Cafe, moving tables, learning with the people in front of you, contributing and listening for insights, etc.
  • Round 1: When have you experienced contributing to or participating in an improvement? What do you think you need to stay in that mind and heart? (Yes, this is a lot to ask for a 20 minute round, but our point was to lift up the energy of improvement — not complete fixes.)
  • Popcorn harvest to hear a few snippets (not from everyone).
  • A little set up about the courage to “disrupt” and to “start”.
  • Rounds 2 and 3: Is there a “disrupt” and a “start” that you need to improve your leadership, in the name of continuous improvement?
  • Post-it Note harvest from each to the wall. Some slight groupings. Reflecting out loud as a group on what they see in the post-it’s shared.

Grateful for such simple format to bring such important learning forward — and of course, behind it all, to restore and reclaim formats for learning with heart and belly together.

Turned Again To One Another

Sometimes it is at retreat centers. Sometimes at university campuses. Sometimes at churches. Sometimes at hotels. Sometimes in forests. Above is what it looks like this week for me with my colleague Glen Brown hosting a Leadership Development Program / Cohort for people in electrical supplies and sales. What’s common across all of them is the turning to one another.

The teaching that Quanita Roberson and I have grown into goes something like this.

Turning to one another helps with turning in to self.
Turning in to self helps with turning to one another.
Inner is connected to outer (always has been).
Outer is connected to inner (always has been).
Wisdom and kind ways of going together can grow from that.

Three days of changing the shape of meetings, and growing the hearts, minds, bellies of this group of people wanting to do good together. Here we go.

Circle Immersion — December 7-11, 2022

We are getting nearer to this Circle Immersion. Of those registered, I’m appreciating the skill and heart that people bring. I’m appreciating the imagination that people bring.

It’s December 7-11, 2022 at Hope Springs Institute in Appalachian, Ohio. It’s five days, deliberately sinking in. It’s well tended food and receptive land.

It is my experience that circle is the fundamental practice that changes everything. When we get it, both inner and outer become more clear. The inner peace of it all. And the outer methodologies that stream people together in the things that we most care about.

If you feel called, please sign on. With welcome.