Periodic learnings with interesting people. Periodic readings from my blog. Episodes are typically 10-20 minutes, intended to encourage thoughtful and meaningful conversations with self and with other that begin from simple questions — what’s it like to be you… what has your attention now… what does that have to do with who you are or who you are becoming. It’s starting anywhere and following it everywhere.
Relational Leadership: 3 Questions (12 minutes): I love feeling a big topic (Relational Leadership) and translating it to a few questions that can be used in participative process to create some connection and wisdom. The three questions I’m using a lot are: 1)What do you care about? 2) What might you uniquely be seeing? 3) How are you doing?
The Violence of the Binary: The Kindness of Multiplicity (16 minutes): Been thinking a bunch about this one. The subtle ways that too much of contemporary life is skewed to either / or, right / wrong, this / that. The binary is embedded in way too much, acting as a vicegrip on our brains and hearts. It’s an age old issue, perhaps amplified by the digital revolution. I believe our times call for us to grow much more ability to embrace the complexity, the wholeness, the each of us in all of us.
For Guidance In These Times: Eight Orientations to Grounded Journey (18 minutes): From some early morning reflection, stillness, and musing I found an updated guidance system. Eight principles or orientations. You could call them practices. From commitments to simplicity, to being in nature. From tending to physical body to fierce commitment to the inner work. From honesty with pain and challenge to the alchemical path that is joy. From giving and receiving gifts to giving and receiving grace. Perhaps these might you reclaim or add to the simplicity in your own guidance systems.
For Question Designers Everywhere (12 minutes): One of the skills I most rely on as a facilitator, and as the human being that I am, is being able to ask good questions. I’ve learned a few goto reliances that connect people to an ecosystem of curiosity — like the web that connects morning dew in the photo I took recently. Some of the reliance is attitude that infuses simple questions with added invitation. Some of it is the wording that makes it accessible to most everyone. All of it points to learning so as to be in connection and discovery with self, with teams, with circumstance.
July 2, 2020 — With Kate McCracken, Sensemaker, Writer, Parent, Leadership Facilitator (23 minutes): I love the connection with Kate. She thinks so well on her feet. She connects insights. She knows stuff. She’s not afraid to lean to the not knowing. I start with a simple question — What has your attention these days? We follow that through writing, parenting, CoVid, humaning, and a few other topics. I love her reference to “returning to something not remembered.” Enjoy.
Quanita Roberson and I started recording some of our conversations and learnings, particularly as they pertain to our 16 month cohort program, Fire & Water Leadership Journey & Rite of Passage. Episodes are conversational, typically 10-20 minutes.
April 5, 2022 — A Conversation with Christina Baldwin (37 minutes) — Christina is a most key and central friend, colleague, and guide for the last two decades. I love her reflections on circle, it’s founding, it’s current invitation, and it’s essence.
March 5, 2022 — Reflections of Our Wisdom Series, Forgiveness (16 minutes) — Was fun to continue our learning on the heals / heels of our 4-week wisdom series. The overarching theme was wisdom found through Forgiveness. The weekly themes were relationship to Anger, Grief, Compassion, and Grace.
February 5, 2022 — The Masculine and the Feminine (31 minutes) — Tenneson and Quanita talk about what is healthy masculine and healthy feminine and how it shows up in men and women.
January 5, 2022 — The InnerGround Railroad (20 minutes) — Quanita Roberson and Amy Howton have written a healing book, The InnerGround Railroad: A 40 Day Journey to Remembering Soul & Spirit. Tenneson asks Quanita several questions about how it feels for her see the first printed copy, how she feels herself grown and changed by writing the book, and how she hopes people encounter the book and its stories.
December 5, 2021 — Trauma: Finding Our Way (22 minutes) — Tenneson and Quanita talk about trauma and the way that they are experiencing our culture right now. Asking questions about how we are to be trauma informed but not have everything be tseen through the lens of trauma.
August 16, 2021 — Talking With Our Elders: David O’Fallon (48 minutes) — Tenneson and I spend some time with one of our elders, David O’Fallon. He shares his thoughts on views on how things are and what is needed in these times.
June 5, 2021 — Departure as Part of Initiation (26 minutes) — Tenneson Woolf and Quanita Roberson have a conversation about departures as a part of the initiatory process. They serve how departure has shown up for them and what they have learned.
May 4, 2020 — Is this Essentially a Human Experience or a Spiritual One? (17 minutes)
April 2022 — Workshops Work (1 hour): I enjoyed being a part of this podcast, Workshops Work. It’s hosted by the thoughtful Myriam Hadnes. This episode features Quanita Roberson and me on the topic of facilitation, turning to one another, turning in to self, and I would suggest, some of the kindness required to work our way in complexity. Enjoy the listen (it’s an hour). Thx for sharing as inspired.
February 2022 — Radical ReImagining (32 minutes): Tenneson Woolf – Radical (Re)imagining S3 E2 Radical (Re)Imagining hosts Deven Wisner, Tiffany Tovey, & Libby Smith welcome Tenneson Woolf, a facilitator, teacher, coach, circle host, and poet. This year our conversations will focus on who we are in the work and how we make moves towards showing up as our full human selves in the work. Tenneson is also a host (with Quanita Roberson) of the 18-month Fire & Water Leadership Journey & Rite of Passage and the Fire & Water podcast.
December 2020 — From Uncommon to Common (75 minutes): Recording of a workshop that Quanita Roberson and I offered as part of Myriam Hadnes’ Festival, Never Done Before.
September 2020 — Attachment Theory in Action & The Circle Way, Part 2 (35 minutes): Fun to continue the conversation with Karen Doyle Buckwalter connecting circle practice to health and healing.
September, 2020 — Attachment Theory in Action & The Circle Way, Part 1 (30 minutes): Karen Doyle Buckwalter invited me to a conversation about creating safe and brave spaces that connect attachment with wholeness that can be found in circle process. What I loved in this conversation is the commitment to welcoming the whole human being, and some awareness that a lot of contemporary meeting formats don’t do that. Circle helps restore and invite wholeness, among other things.
September, 2020 — Irenicast: Continuing the Conversation (A Cadence of Despair (57 minutes). My friend Casey Tinnin and his colleagues continue their serious and playful inquiry together, exploring what it means to be in a few engaging questions together that I often ask. Who are you? What’s it like to be you? What has your attention? What does that have to do with who you are and who you are becoming?
April, 2020 — A Cadence of Despair (68 minutes). My friend, Pastor Casey Tinnin hosts me in talking about my publication of poems and reflections — A Cadence of Despair: Poems and Reflections on Heartbreak, Loss and Renewal. This book maps and invites a relationship with despair, including not just the ascent, but the richness and rawness of the descent.
Beyond The Spreadsheet Brain: How To Invoke Participant Brains, Hearts, and Bellies (2019, with Myriam Hadnes in Amsterdam, 49 minutes). I loved her questions. I loved her playfulness. I loved her desire to bridge the practical and the poetic.
Podcast — On Leaning In (2019, with Jim Strader-Sasser, 30 minutes). Glad for Jim’s podcast, Circuosity, and his invitation to me to think out loud about circle as container, and leaning in as needed human endeavor.
Building Leaderful Communities: Capacities and Practices to Support Thriving Transition Communities (2015, 72 minutes audio) — I enjoyed creating this with Jeff Aitken, who unfortunately became ill on the day of our scheduled seminar. I enjoy being part of the Transition and resilience efforts.
Art of Hosting: Participatory Leadership Practices That Change the Way We Meet (2013, 71 minutes audio) — With Teresa Posakony, in support of Transition US efforts.
New Normal (2020, 5 minutes) — This is Ari Kuschnir’s project, “Together.” It was fun to speak with him and be included in this inquiry of what “normal” does or could mean.
The Art of Hosting, Bowen Island (2017, 12 minutes) — This captures some of the spirit, heart, and skill that goes into the practice and art of participatory leadership and The Art of Hosting. I was part of hosting this group over 15 years annually, and learned a ton together.
Minneapolis Art of Hosting (2012, 4 minutes) — From an event I was part of, compiled by Katie Boone, a bit of what 130 people in a ballroom look like.
Rural Ontario Leadership Summit (2012, 8 minutes) — From the summit that I worked at in 2012 with Alicia Evans, Jean Ogilvie, Erika Bailey and others. It represents a shift in format for this conference to a participative format. Captures a few images and impressions for what that looks like. In this case, 2 days with 75 people in a hotel setting.