Current trends gaining traction in leadership coaching about mindfulness, compassionate listening, and conscious consumption prompted me to combine these practices and host the Firecat First Friday coworking session in the following format:
1. Becoming present- Participants gathered to “becoming present” thus preparing themselves to focus and articulate their vision for the year.
2. Creating personal backlog (a brain dump of sorts) – Using words and sketches participants generated stories that define their expectations of the coming year.
3. Communicating the personal backlog- Once the stories were visualized, they had to find a partner and share their intentions. When listening, individuals were encouraged to make gentle eye contact, to not provide feedback, avoid forming opinions, be open to stories being told, show empathy and kindness. While speaking individuals were encouraged to narrate with pride, believe their thoughts and avoid self criticism . Each person had to repeat the cycle at least 5 times to enable self direction, articulation, and gaining confidence about their vision.
4. Regroup for presencing- A second iteration of presencing enhanced their ability to feel and accept their heightened awareness about wants, clarity about intentions, and shift in perceptions.
5. Discover Personal Kanban and create boards- The presencing method, creating and communicating the backlog enabled participants to create / design physical board that resonated their current wants. Since most of our participants were solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and WFH professionals – relating Kanban and Kaizen to what they already do in their professional lives made complete sense.
Session feedback- Listening is hard. Listening without forming opinions is painful. Listening without providing feedback is evil!
Self direction is necessary to be self organized and be accountable. Maintaining a Personal Kanban board shows a high level of self-respect and an ability to strategize based on the patterns of flow.
Work that needs to be completed might be messy, but requires attention.
The biggest lesson of all: We probably just opened a can of worms!! :):)