Good Beginnings

Today my mind shifts back to working with a team, six of us, on a final preparation day for hosting a three-day leadership training. We are a skilled team. Each person has oodles of experience in the field of participative leadership. We have a lot in common, of course. But we also have some differences, which makes it interesting and sometimes even surprising.

Today we will review our design that we started two days ago. In the best of ways, it will be a welcome of what has settled and what has simplified from our initial questions. Should we use a full circle to get people started? How will we talk about circle so that participants get that it is more than a geometric arrangement of chairs? Are there core agreements to remind each other of to create both helpful behavior and heart-filled learning? It has felt very gracious to me to let our questions settle rather than forcing them through a narrow time constraint. Learning happens not just with direct attention, right.

Today we will prepare a physical space. The chairs in the room. The small tables for small group conversations. A table to hold materials and supplies. A table for books and resources. A few flip charts and murals to graphically show what we are up to. The preparation of space matters. It is after all, a key component of the container we will create.

Why? Why all of this? In the last minutes of hurriedness, it is good to recenter in purpose. I have found that people are eager to do their work well. Most know that doing it together somehow matters. It doesn’t mean everything together, but it does mean working across many partnerships. Sometimes shared budgets. Sometimes continuous communications.

I feel the anticipation. A little nervous. Mostly an excitement of knowing for the next three days, 60 people will mix their energies, questions, stories, and practices on behalf of both projects and ways of being.




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