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Things to be hopeful about

February 24, 2009

A thought for facilitators of networks: why do people keep trying to reduce the times of the breaks? Why is this anyone’s first thought, when so much “networking” is accomplished then? Make breaks longer and *intentional* – ask people to meet someone new at the breaks, to share something they’ve never shared. At a recent CLBC day event organized by Jule Hopkins and Shelley Nessman they gave out flower leis and had everyone create their own name tag with stickers of things that interested them, then asked them to connect with someone who had the same color of lei or who had something on their sticker that they could relate to (a pet, a child, an event, a hobby). The interaction this created was great! one of the lessons here is similar to an idea that we talk to staff about: how do you step out of the way? In this, Jule and Shelley created an infrastructure that allowed them to step completely out of the way!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary Rosenberg permalink
    February 25, 2009 3:23 am

    From my experience, there are very few meetings of any kind that are not served well by having either a break in the middle or time at one end or another for people to interact with others as people and not as the “roles” /”positions” / “jobs” that they represent in the meeting.

  2. February 26, 2009 7:08 am

    What a great idea! Tomorrow I will be spending the day with a group of new employees in our quarterly training session. There is so much information we have to share with them and so much of it is dry an difficult to absorb.
    But what we really want them to learn is the more subtle stuff- and so harder to “teach”. Like what to do when the receptionist at the doctors comments on that cool bag of the person we are supporting or how to respond to that child who asks an uncomfortable question from a place of curiousity and interest rather than rudeness or ignorance…
    Jules’ idea of using the leis to allow people to share a part of the story of who they are is brilliant. An idea I may just take …

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