Mojo's Dojo // Day 48 - Who you know

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Day 48 - Who you know



Today, I was told that I know a lot of people, this happened after I introduced a few people to each other who happened to be in the same place at the same time. I disagreed, and said I probably know less than a hundred. They also disagreed, and pointed out there were at least 10 people in this space I knew.

This friend also said I was not hungry, thirsty or tired, for my headache to be going off the way it did. She said there was a thought, or a strong feeling I harbored, that was triggered at that hour. I scoffed at that idea as well.

That's a lot of scoffing, which is why I'm going to now own up to knowing a lot of people, and maybe this headache will go away once I own up to my state at the time it started (but not here).

I talk to anyone, and I started talking to anyone, because I was shy and didn't talk to anyone. I think I used to place an expectation of sorts on the exchange, I continue to be a private person, but I was more private then, owing to my shyness. I'm sure any therapist I speak with would burn their notebook with their furious scribbles. Which makes me think, I wonder if there was a therapy service, modelled on prostitution, the anonymity aspect of it. Imagine travelling somewhere for a week, having intense concentrated sessions with a stranger, getting back on a plane, and doing it all over again the following year. It'd be like the trips people take to Mexico, but instead of booze and... it'd be another way of unloading one's baggage.

Filing that one under crazy ideas, which are things that I won't act on but will probably either be already on offer, but not mainstream media flavour of the week popular yet.

Back to whatever thread I had, ah yes, talking to anyone, so I started asking people about themselves, if I'd read that in a book, I probably wouldn't have tried it, it sounds ridiculous, but it works. What books fail to tell you though, is that the state people are in, kind of matters. A lot matters, it's impacted by the environment, was it crappy and rainy that day, it's impacted by the type of space you're in, are the exits clearly marked and is there space enough to retain your personal space, it's impacted by the type of event they're in, is it multi level marketing closed doors till you're let out space, or a turkish bath music lounge (with multiple levels from cool to sweating buckets).

Over time, talking to anyone, stopped being about my intruding into their space, and in so doing, inviting them to intrude into mine, and became about satisfying curiosity, mine, theirs, but mostly mine, because the more they say, the less of a need I have to figure out what my story, for that moment, is.

Day 47 - The lost art of making friends


One of my most conscious decisions to make a friend, is also one of my earliest successes and failures. The setting, high school, grade 9, French class. After two years in middle school, finally comfortable in my skin, in my story and the surroundings it belonged to, looking forward to going along with my hard earned friendships to the high school across the street, I get thrust into a new part of the city, neighborhood, street hierarchy, and new high school. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise, I was well on my way into being a belligerent bully, a somewhat benign chubby one, if I’m allowed to save face.

In French class, I asked this stranger, if I could borrow his ruler, we’ll call him Vance. He obliged, and told me he charges $2, I laughed it off, he was serious, and it turned into a video game match which started a new friendship. Fast forward to 10th grade, and we’re playing basketball, his best friend is there, we’ll call him Donald, because it’s not a very popular name at the moment.

Close to the end of a what I considered a friendly game, with Vance receiving a pass to make a difficult shot beating the encroaching team from another hood, Donald waves urgently, requesting Vance allow him the honour of closing the game. Vance opts to shoot, missed, we lose, Donald, as youthful teenagers are wont to do, is disappointed, angry, embarrassed that the team from another hood has beaten us, because his best friend did not pass the ball.

Donald prods and teases Vance, and everything leading up to this moment I’ve had to dig for, but this part remains the most clear. Donald declares, “I’m not your best friend, I’m no best friend for a loser”, Vance’s face was heart breaking, he’d known Donald since grade school, and they’ve kept their friendship all the while, ages for a teenager, identity defining surely, and in one fell swoop, Donald destroys it.

I remember thinking how unjust that was, and quietly declaring, “I will show you how you best friend!”, and proceeded the process to eliminate Donald from living memory. I won’t go into the details, but it involved some humanity, a dash of listening, and understanding.

My mistake, was failing to honour that pronouncement, though I didn’t angrily declare him no longer my best friend, I did allow for time and geography to distance our relationship. We didn’t go to the same university, didn’t live in the same neighborhood, and then I left the country a while and didn’t call him whenever I returned for a quick visit.

Though I continue to succeed at making friends fast, and I could write you a check list of the best ways to do so, I think a critical element that I can’t share, is how to respectfully and consensually end a friendship. Once I give it thought, I can share my thoughts on the lost art of making friends, and losing them.

Day 46 - It’s for older people

I got a really nice wake up moment today. Like most things, in retrospect, it’s clear as day. It was also a reminder to me that, my experience, shouldn’t have an overwhelming impact on what I design. It’s a dance really, but I’ll leave that for another day.

If you came across my post Day 38 - Growth Tribe, this is a follow up, so go back and read that first. I received two sets of feedback on the product I created. One of the participants had feedback that I believed positively impacted the “closing ritual” report I made for the participants. It was heartwarming and helpful to hear that the report made the implicit explicit, that there was just enough information to not be overwhelmed, and that I led their reflection for the future with questions. They observed that it would be helpful to have more in terms of action oriented actions, and a process whereby they can keep going. So I included space to take notes, attached a printable sheet for their 6 minute morning ritual, and broke down their goal into 8 weeks (sound familiar?)

All good so far, then I decided to ask my sister, the oracle of the black mirror youth, who in her mid 20s, is aware of all things social media compared to me. Since I’ve heard good things about this process, where people reflect on their leadership, their path forward, their goals, and are bolstered by others who have a similar interest, I thought well, why wouldn’t someone younger jump at this chance.

Then I remembered myself, I’m not sure when my cognitive leap into reflecting and observing my actions deeply happened. But I do recall a time when I let outside influences muddle or mute my way forward, that I used to coast, used to be ok with being ok. The only thing positive I can recall, is that I wasn’t at the least consumed by consumerist culture, brands, the must have toy, gadget, or fashion of the day. I by passed that stage, because I used to ask why. I just didn’t focus that indifference to consumerism internally, and I didn’t ask why I was ok with being ok.

I know, there’s a post I wrote sometime back about mediocrity (Day 22), but there’s something even worse, apathy, and that’s what a majority of my youth was wasted on.

So here I am thinking, you show up online, you can do it on your phone, which is glued to your hand, and you can be the better for it, what’s not to love. My sister quipped just as quickly, “This sounds great, for you know, older people”. After that ego inflation earlier that morning, it was demoralizing to hear, that this wouldn’t even hit the radar (yea I’m old, I’m sticking with old technology, no gps here; fun fact, radar was discovered by mistake and ignored the first time around) the radar of younger folks. So of course I asked what are they doing now that’s so important. Lo and behold, it’s the same thing kids my age were into, well not completely, but it surprised me to learn that healthy lifestyle living is the thing today. Whether it be going to the gym and taking photos of you there, or eating vegan and taking photos , or even fashion meetups. I lost you there didn’t I, yea that’s a thing. What I remember being copying the popular kid’s fashion trend has turned into a social media fueled get rich or implode trying lifestyle.

This is how it goes, you have fashion meetups where people talk about the latest influencer to follow, what clothes are getting noticed, how to stay consistent, who to collaborate with, consistently posting yourself in different fashionable attire, exchanging clothes with your fashion group, returning clothes after ordering them online, and a whole lot of things that will one day lead to, drum roll please (still old), getting discovered!

What does that mean? More followers, leveraged into sponsorships, free trips, which leads to more followers, for more sponsorships, for...you get the idea. But I countered, there has to be a dip, queue explanation of 2008 depression. Here’s how she explained it, once they achieve the status they just need to coast, keep consistent, and the mill of sponsorships will keep you afloat.

Incredulous, I countered that once in the jaws of Charybdis, there can only be one result, queue side trip into Greek mythology. She clarified that there are people, who do get famous, from one viral video, who shoot into stardom, and don’t really know what to do to either keep it going, what the masses want, or who they are without it. There’s a feeling of being left behind, of failing to keep up, that you need to stay relevant to the click and dip (disappear) tribe of followers. Lightbulb! Maybe these are the people I need to target, who better than an regular person, thrust into conditions they weren't prepared for, to undertake a reflective process, with peers, whether it's those who are coasting, those who were sun dried, or the ones trying to figure out what next. These social media, currently darlings are definitely in a better place than I was when I was their age, they're aware of the power of ego. So I asked my sister the million dollar question.

What would they pay for this? $90...I tried to coax some more from her.

For the report?

No, for everything, or at least, 3 workshops, one reflection meeting after the 8 week period, and the report.

$90? That's it? But how much do they spend on the gym and being vegan?

A lot more, she quipped, on a night out at the bar, movies, or shisha. Maybe they'll spend $150 max on this, because they're not about this. Ain't nobody got time for this.

...I didn't, especially when I was single, so I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe we spend so much time trying not to be single in our younger years, because it has it's own stigma, that we forget what it was like being an individual, when we're older and trying to explore the meaning of self in the concurrent contexts of work, family, and close relationships.

And since you've read all the way here, you get a free poster! Print it out and use it in the morning






Day 45 - How goes the bonding?

I skipped a few months, little dude is almost 4 months old.
I have not had the time time to record any podcasts for my future dads club. Each episode I tackle one question, and my friend had a good one. He wanted to know how the bonding was going with little dude. Time flew by so quickly that I hadn't had time to note the growth of his little personality. It's interesting how much of my time and my wife's time is spent on just keeping this guy alive.

So much so that I am not sure we are doing what we're supposed to the doing with him day in day out. Outside of feeding, clothing, burping, and cleaning anytime I look into to what this guy should be up to I get hit with a wall of information. There are many websites and lists upon lists. The information overload is unbearable, it's like going to a restaurant and having a menu with with items you didn't know existed, and no waiter to help you out. Omg I just realised, we get more help with food than we do with a human being...that's so sad. I'm not even working full time, I can only imagine what two parent households have to contend with when raising a child for the first time.

So I'm currently doing what any dad does I guess, winging it! But I check in with youtube once in a while, to ensure I'm not causing any irreparable damage to little dude. We've been focused on a lot of the general stuff like tummy time and also more tummy time and once in a while, when we meet his most pressing needs, I give him a massage. Outside of the first few weeks when you're told about the importance of skin to skin, there isn't much direction.

Sometimes he tells us for what wants by either crying too much or not crying enough. so what are we supposed to look for books I have so many books it's very difficult finding the time to read all these books and make sure little dude is doing alright.

Yes, I have books, many of them, they're just not in an easy to use format, which at this point is probably a weekly check list on A3 paper that can be left on the floor so I can remember during tummy time. No, I will not turn this into another side project, because if I've noticed one thing from these books, it's that people wait until they're on their 4th child and have the space to breathe before they write them.

Case in point, this article was voice typed as I rub his feet with both hands. Sure I have to edit like crazy when he finally sleeps but it's better than nothing. Apparently you are supposed to speak very slowly to help them learn. The Google assistant I mean, little dude has been paying attention to my speech, I guess like the google assistant one day before you know it they've taken over your world.

Oh, and the bonding goes well.

Day 38 - Growth Tribe DXB

I think I'm ready to plan for the second iteration of an experiment I conducted earlier in 2019. Some background first.

As a partner at LeadIN, one of my roles has been to engage people in peer led learning circles. The circles are designed to create a space outside of work, personal routines, and social obligations, in order to ponder, experiment, and iterate on your leadership path. Like most things worth taking the time for, it's simple, there are no stage productions, no headline motivational speaker and deep bass or drums to get the blood flowing. It's taking the time to breath, to learn, to have a conversation, to take action, and to be held accountable to your leadership goal.

The challenge for LeadIN has been, that it's growth primarily relies on word of mouth, because like most things that really matter to me, and perhaps, to you, is that we're really not very comfortable promoting something, unless we're sure about it or respect it. This has worked wonderfully well for LeadIN in D.C. The space where people gather, once a week for 10 weeks is provided by the Chicago School of Psychology, D.C. campus. Facilitators, like myself and Zarko, the founder, spend our time, without pay, with each cohort. The costs outside of our time are negligible, and we like it this way. Because our intention is to introduce our leadership peer learning format to organizations. Can you imagine, mixing and matching departments, regardless of rank, or position, into 10 week cohorts that they are responsible for partly delivering. We know it works, we have the measures to demonstrate the shifts in teams, but again, the challenge is, anyone that's believed in us and invited us, has either attended LeadIN or has been invited to learn about LeadIN by alumni.

So back to my experiment. In Dubai, I was able to convene people to attend a teaser workshop, the subject was first time managers. There are a few obstacles related to this particular format. Some of which legal. More importantly, there is a glut of free personal development workshops in Dubai. And I've not been able to position LeadIN in a manner that makes us stand out. So I opted to experiment with an all remote format while I was in D.C.

I invited people from the Creative Bunch, so sticking to what works, inviting people I have a relationship with. Out of 110 people, 7 people signed up. Out of the 7, 4 were able to make the first 2 meetings. The third meeting? Didn't happen. Part of the challenge was the nature of our geography, with restrictions to video conferencing software, participants in 3 time zones, and possibly way too much upfront work that was required to be a part of the group. People needed to do a Strengthsfinder test, then fill out a questionnaire that became a benchmark for their current state, then film a video 2 mins long, about a current challenge they have, then review the videos of the other people, and then show up for the call. You wouldn't be wrong to assume that the 4 who showed up for the first 2 meetings, had more interactions with me, than did the others. Meaning to say, they knew me well enough, to be present, and support this initiative.

I spent the better part of today, downloading stock video footage, because I realised, even though it's oft repeated, people are also simple. There are a lot of things vying for a person's attention, and something as important as your leadership path, and it's growth, doesn't register high when there are more pressing needs, or louder distractions.

So I hope to create a series of 1 minute teaser videos, that will try to appeal to people's need to congregate, alluding to rituals, and how they've evolved from creating a meaning for the world, and our place in it, to being removed from our daily lives and rituals being subsumed by likes and swipes.

I've downloaded 120 royalty free stock footage, and now I need to write a script of what feelings trying to solicit from people, and what action I'm trying to have them take. I've committed $500 to this project, which will include a website, and advertising funds, since the copy editing, sound mixing and video editing will be learning project.

I need to first publish the results of the first cohort, I've had three people complete their outgoing questionnaire, and remarkably, there were positive changes, I didn't expect this piece of data to give me good news. I need to think of how I should share with them their results, so that they can easily share it with others, and that way I make it easier for them to be excited about sharing what this space is all about.

So two things need to happen, first, invite the creative bunch to nominate people for the upcoming cohort in the fall, a friend who attended a recent gathering shared the following quote, "If I keep doing the same thing with different people, in different places, at different times, it's always an injustice." I need to be more actively listening to people's needs, and have a hearty mix of zeal and heart, so that I can better understand how needs can be addressed.

I can also offer that anyone that can't physically attend, can be funnelled into an online mastermind option, the growth tribe dxb. It's a weak name, and googling growth tribe only confirms that. What are some names that evoke the warmth of a fire and the strength of community?

Day 43 - Veterans of Kindness

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Veterans of Kindness, they help for the sake of helping, and continue to do so.  They are the quiet many and they are surprisingly kind. There are a number of individuals, who at times go to great lengths to ensure no one is aware of their good deeds.

There are historical figures, none of which I can recall right now, who are lauded for their quiet acts of kindness. Somehow I feel that hearing these stories centuries later, only proves that there was some amazing old school public relations going on.

That said, it could also be that some people were genuinely helpful, and some soul wanted them to be recognized. It's something I'm trying to figure out at the moment. I'm experimenting with an Instagram account that has been dormant. To facilitate an online exchange between community members of the bunch, and also individuals that follow the bunch account, I've been posing questions every Thursday under the moniker of 'Helpful Humans'. The idea is to ask questions that people usually answer in the silent space of their mind, the idea is to make real and public, what it is they find challenging, to allow for recognition that this isn't a unique challenge, and hopefully someone in the community has undergone a personal shift to overcome said challenge, and can share a tip or two on what worked. Eventually, and this was picked up by a member of the bunch, this exchange should happen face to face, because these conversations are important, and they need to be had.

Some of the exchanges have been related to overcoming the fear or public speaking, sales, finding inspiration when you're drained, and getting encouragement to keep on top of existing goals.

I've saved the above on highlights, and they're publicly accessible to people, but the essence of the exchange is individuals rallying to help each other. I need to experiment further to further refine the process and possibly invite individuals who would like to tap into the information shared to create articles that synthesize the points that seem to most resonate.

Day 42 - Help yoself Kemosabe

I started puttering around LinkedIN recently, or as I affectionately like to call it LookHERE. Outside of an increase in funny, aspiring, Facebook videos, I didn't really see too many changes from the few years I'd been off of it.

It still takes days for a post to surface from someone you're connected to, which is a strange choice for a business oriented platform. By the time it surfaces on my wall or feed, it's been 3 days, if not longer, since it was posted by the author.

There is a noticeable increase in the number of videos being posted by anyone looking to be what I assume is a LookHERE influencer. The echoes of the Facesphere are reverberating, thought I've also noticed people also end their posts with "follow me on Twitter, I'm more active there". Which begs the question, what is LookHERE used for outside of recruiter stalking. I've yet to understand.

I've also started experimenting with the Creative Bunch Instagram. I think my commitment to writing each day has seeped into other areas of life. This is the third week I've hosted a Helpful Humans series of stories, where I solicit people to share their vulnerabilities, and then aggregate helpful tips from others who've overcome similar challenges. Most interesting are the chat groups, a new feature, that can stay open in perpetuity, I think I'll A/B test and close 1 of the 3 currently existing groups, by summarizing what's been shared on a medium post, and hosting the shared learning there. I can't imagine InstaCRAM can be a place to store information for the long term. I think I'll also announce that it'll only be active for 12 hours from 7 AM to 7 PM so people have a time box, and a ritual of sorts, I've noticed an uptick later in the afternoon. I recently converted the account to a business account to access the analytics insights, so I'll wait a week before delving in, which reminds me I need to highlight the stories shared before they disappear.

As for me, and my professional growth, I've had a number of conversations and this next year, I really need to up skill in service design, so that I can have portfolio of work worth sharing, mainly to increase my self confidence as well. If this project comes through, we'll be running it using a sprint format. I'm also committing to writing at the end of each day, so I can leverage this habit to capture daily insights that can be transferred to a text only portfolio if need be.

I need to also prioritize the things I want to work on,

So far there's

The Growth Tribe X
Future Dads Club podcast

Creative Couple Cards X
Government Service Design Research doc
Starting the first LeadIN cohort in Dubai X
Starting a Liberating Structures group in Dubai X
Starting a Reinventing Work group in Dubai. X
Facilitating a phones down, heads up event X
Continuing the Bunch X

Almost everything involves people, which means a considerable amount of time and effort spent soliciting, prodding, and maybe even begging people to pay attention, or to help lead.

I'll need to segment the above into whether they need a great amount of energy, so I'd need to lead, or moderate amount of energy, so I'd need to delegate, or take little to no energy, so I'd need to mentor.

I've also been sheepish about answering my own questions about the kind of help needed on the bunch account using my other accounts, like LeadIN and Future dad, somehow it feels wrong to be asking for advice, in the same forum you're moderating. It's like the person at Alcoholic's anonymous taking up the space they're supposed to hold for the circle.

Yet, I must help myself, because this is post number 42, and therein lies the answer.

Day 41 - Facilitation Fail

Communicating clearly to one person is challenging, you have to get in their head, understand where they're coming from in terms of culture, priorities. Where they are, who they are, what they had for breakfast, etc.

Most importantly, the person needs to feel heard, acknowledged, understood, and respected. Crucially, critically, insert all synonyms here, they must identify, relate, insert all synonyms here also, with what you're trying to communicate.

Now imagine it's a roomful of people. How would you approach it differently? How do you convey, that you may need to risk going deeper than is comfortable, in order to create a shared understanding of what is important. How do you allow for deep seated bias, to be recognized, acknowledged, and let go.

There was a client engagement where I was brought on for one thing, and it turned out to be a 'whole other thing'. You've probably experienced this in some form. I was too naive, and decided to concentrate, on the thing I was brought to do, and I found myself getting frustrated whenever I was pulled away, by the 'whole other thing', I didn't have the agency to highlight it so I kept working on the thing I was brought on for.

No twist in this story friend, straight faced and straight laced I forged ahead with an agenda that required a measure of vulnerability, honest self assessment, and it worked, but not the way I expected.

The people in the room, the ones without the power, let their hearts out, yearning for recognition, and this seemed like a safe space for it. So share they did, and I was almost in tears...until I noticed the faces of the people with power.

Ever have your most calm poker face, flip into one filled with outrage. But really the fault was mine, I should have read the room, it was my responsibility to ensure that the room came along for the journey, the whole room. I hadn't heeded the early warning signs, and as a result, I failed half the room, the half that was yearning to be heard, that trusted the process.

One thing I'd try next time, is to ensure everyone took time to reflect on the purpose of the organization. Possibly through a journaling exercise the day before we all meet.

I'd also take more time upfront, understanding who is going into the room, and what they're walking in with. Because regardless of power, if we don't take the risk, we'll never know what could have been possible.

Day 40 - 17 Million Dollars

I remember a guy from high school, we weren’t close, or acquaintances, we may have had a class or two together, but with my memory such as it is, we probably didn’t. I’ll call him Terrence.

He was tall, slim build, braces, I remember him wearing a track suit, he will have worn other articles of clothing, but Terrence looks like a track suit guy, and I mean matching track suits, long sleeved top and maybe tear away track pants. He was a light blue track suit kind of guy.

Terrence was also a humorous dude, not the typical high school regurgitate the latest Simpsons episode kind of humorous, but a genuine, well thought out, slow burn kind of humorous.

He wasn't the type of person who was not noticeable, so when he didn't come to school for a few days, and it turned to weeks, we didn't know what happened.

Turned out, his family had won a few million dollars, bought a house, a recording studio, a few cars and other knick knacks. I saw Terrence a few months later, he didn't mention the new life style, he may have been lonely and tried to visit a familiar place. The change was abrupt.

I tell you about Terrence, because at some point, I thought I want to make $17 million, and give away all but $1 million. I've even bought a ticket or two, when I feel my stars aligning, do you ever get that feeling? That something good is coming your way? Once every few years I get that feeling, and I spend it on a ticket. Nothing ever comes of it of course. But I can't help but think of all the fun I can have by giving away a crap ton of money.

My friend Adnan, who started this whole Moemusing at you mess, had his own unique way of looking at this. He suggested I flip this desire on it's head. What if I saved, through my interactions, or service, I could save people $16 million.

So what in your life time, would you be able to do, to save a group of people, that amount? It doesn't need to be cash, it could be services rendered, that may be valued at that amount, over a period of time.

Let me know what you'd be great at saving people from.

Day 39 - It's Service Design, not serve us design

Oh client, thou shall not be named, yet trample you must on best laid customer centric plans. Sure, sometimes it happens because we haven't convinced you sufficiently, and yes, your eyes may pop at the costs associated, but isn't this why we spent the better part of a year, finite time, for the benefit of your brand.

I'll stop with the poetic crap there.

On our last project, it took sometime to convince our client that it was in their best interest we have access to all manner of customers, partner organizations, and their staff.

Questions clients ask:

Why must you shadow this person? I just told you all you need to know, in 5 minutes!

Why do you need to see a sample of service chat logs? So what if they don't contain confidential information, what use will they be?

I gave you access to the team, why do I have to be in the room for the first meeting?

What do you mean this is a prototype? When will you finish?

I realized by the end of the project, that I could have done things much more differently. Here are my top 3 early bird service specials.

1- Identify early on the people most positively impacted by the changes, and win them over by asking detailed questions, sharing your process, and soliciting their advice.

2- Only engage the leadership with moments of forward momentum. That could look like maps you've completed alongside their most trusted staff, and present it in their presence because they will eagerly answer questions their leadership throws your way. This is important, because it demonstrates to leadership that this isn't just your hair brained scheme, and that their staff will move it along when you're gone

3- Visuals visuals visuals. Account for the different learning styles, and begin with visuals, they worked wonders and engaged everyone regardless of language proficiency.

Day 38 - Growth Tribe DXB

I think I'm ready to plan for the second iteration of an experiment I conducted earlier in 2019. Some background first.

As a partner at LeadIN, one of my roles has been to engage people in peer led learning circles. The circles are designed to create a space outside of work, personal routines, and social obligations, in order to ponder, experiment, and iterate on your leadership path. Like most things worth taking the time for, it's simple, there are no stage productions, no headline motivational speaker and deep bass or drums to get the blood flowing. It's taking the time to breath, to learn, to have a conversation, to take action, and to be held accountable to your leadership goal.

The challenge for LeadIN has been, that it's growth primarily relies on word of mouth, because like most things that really matter to me, and perhaps, to you, is that we're really not very comfortable promoting something, unless we're sure about it or respect it. This has worked wonderfully well for LeadIN in D.C. The space where people gather, once a week for 10 weeks is provided by the Chicago School of Psychology, D.C. campus. Facilitators, like myself and Zarko, the founder, spend our time, without pay, with each cohort. The costs outside of our time are negligible, and we like it this way. Because our intention is to introduce our leadership peer learning format to organizations. Can you imagine, mixing and matching departments, regardless of rank, or position, into 10 week cohorts that they are responsible for partly delivering. We know it works, we have the measures to demonstrate the shifts in teams, but again, the challenge is, anyone that's believed in us and invited us, has either attended LeadIN or has been invited to learn about LeadIN by alumni.

So my experiment. In Dubai, I was able to convene people to attend a teaser workshop, the subject was first time managers. There are a few obstacles related to this particular format. Some of which legal. More importantly, there is a glut of free personal development workshops in Dubai. And I've not been able to position LeadIN in a manner that makes us stand out. So I opted to experiment with an all remote format while I was in D.C.

I invited people from the Creative Bunch, so sticking to what works, inviting people I have a relationship with. Out of 110 people, 7 people signed up. Out of the 7, 4 were able to make the first 2 meetings. The third meeting? Didn't happen. Part of the challenge was the nature of our geography, with restrictions to video conferencing software, participants in 3 time zones, and possibly way too much upfront work that was required to be a part of the group. People needed to do a Strengthsfinder test, then fill out a questionnaire that became a benchmark for their current state, then film a video 2 mins long, about a current challenge they have, then review the videos of the other people, and then show up for the call. You wouldn't be wrong to assume that the 4 who showed up for the first 2 meetings, had more interactions with me, than did the others. Meaning to say, they knew me well enough, to be present, and support this initiative.

I spent the better part of today, downloading stock video footage, because I realised, even though it's oft repeated, people are also simple. There are a lot of things vying for a person's attention, and something as important as your leadership path, and it's growth, doesn't register high when there are more pressing needs, or louder distractions.

So I hope to create a series of 1 minute teaser videos, that will try to appeal to people's need to congregate, alluding to rituals, and how they've evolved from creating a meaning for the world, and our place in it, to being removed from our daily lives and rituals being subsumed by likes and swipes.

I've downloaded 120 royalty free stock footage, and now I need to write a script of what feelings trying to solicit from people, and what action I'm trying to have them take. I've committed $500 to this project, which will include a website, and advertising funds, since the copy editing, sound mixing and video editing will be learning project.

I need to first publish the results of the first cohort, I've had three people complete their outgoing questionnaire, and remarkably, there were positive changes, I didn't expect this piece of data to give me good news. I need to think of how I should share with them their results, so that they can easily share it with others, and that way I make it easier for them to be excited about sharing what this space is all about.

So two things need to happen, first, invite the creative bunch to nominate people for the upcoming cohort in the fall, a friend who attended a recent gathering shared the following quote, "If I keep doing the same thing with different people, in different places, at different times, it's always an injustice." I need to be more actively listening to people's needs, and have a hearty mix of zeal and heart, so that I can better understand how needs can be addressed.

I can also offer that anyone that can't physically attend, can be funnelled into an online mastermind option, the growth tribe dxb. It's a weak name, and googling growth tribe only confirms that. What are some names that evoke the warmth of a fire and the strength of community?

Day 37 - Books I Read on User Experience.

It's been a busy weekend, so I'm just going to list names of books I read a few years back.

Interactive Design: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of User-centered Design

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13590592-interactive-design

Wireframing Essentials
by Matthew J. Hamm

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/20718118-wireframing-essentials

Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things
by Claire Rowland, Elizabeth Goodman, Martin Charlier, Alfred Lui, Ann Light

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/23236797-designing-connected-products

A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
by Russ Unger, Carolyn Chandler

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4565900-a-project-guide-to-ux-design

Just Enough Research
by Erika Hall

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17236175-just-enough-research

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
by Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13436116-lean-ux

Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction
by Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/344711.Interaction_Design

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70132.Information_Architecture_for_the_World_Wide_Web

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People
by Susan M. Weinschenk

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10778139-100-things-every-designer-needs-to-know-about-people

The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/840.The_Design_of_Everyday_Things

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18197267-don-t-make-me-think-revisited

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
by Steve Krug

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6658783-rocket-surgery-made-easy

Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56837.Communicating_Design

Designing Together: The Collaboration and Conflict Management Handbook for Creative Professionals
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17986275-designing-together

Practical Design Discovery
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34336605-practical-design-discovery

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything
by Peter Morville

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22931460-intertwingled

The User's Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love
by Donna Lichaw

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/25587382-the-user-s-journey

Day 36 - The Golden Child

Guilt, not fear, as in Frank Herbert's memorable mantra in 'Dune', is the real mind-killer. You may have heard of or been exposed to the concept of Catholic guilt, Jewish guilt...there are so many types of guilt.

It whispers at the nape of your neck when you feel you did something wrong, or when you think of doing something nasty, even if you don't follow through.

It keeps you up at night and compounds when you don't think you did enough to help someone in need, could be the homeless person you pass by, or a co-worker whose family member just passed away.

It absolutely howls at you when you think you're doing better than someone else, it doesn't need to be as extreme as surviving war, it could be as simple as having a better life than your closest family members, financially or physically.

If you know me, you know where I was taking this...Muslim guilt. Yup! That's also a thing. The rule is, if you make a minor mistake, something that doesn't harm anyone, but is definitely a no-no as per the tenets of the faith, you should feel bad about it, you should make up for it, you should ask for forgiveness, and then go about your merry way, with the caveat that, you've now acknowledged your mistake, don't repeat it. This of course doesn't apply to anything that causes another harm, or what is considered classified as a crime. The jurisprudence can become a rabbit hole so I won't give you any specific examples, so let your imagination run along.

Now that you've been introduced to Muslim guilt, come along with me to my childhood. At the tender age of 10, my mother, 3 siblings and I found ourselves in Toronto, Canada. As the eldest child, I was one no longer, because my younger siblings were 6, 5 and 2 years old, so I ended up skipping adolescence.

You see, there was a barrage of messaging from everyone connected to our family, be it grade school teachers, or family friends, even the local grocer, that I was one very responsible child, to be helping his mother so well! And So the Golden Child was born, never to err, ever faithfully serving, protecting, and being a role model worthy of emulation.

When I said I skipped adolescence, I skipped it hard. No alcohol, no partying, no rebelling. Nothing that would jeopardize my mission to ensure my mom was not overwhelmed by raising the 4 of us alone. I had to do my part, and for the most part I did pretty well. I still have the moniker attached to me.

Everything that sparkles has it's price. Historically, Gold and it's extraction resulted in heavily polluted lands which impacts the surrounding environment, poisoning both flora, fauna and the water table. This continues long after the mine's resources are extracted, for a century at best. Similarly, the impact my Golden Child persona has on me is yet to completely unfold. One of the main lessons I learned, if I were to play the role well, was to know how to lie very well. It's possible that my fascination with observing people, listening to them, and trying to understand their pain had started at a young age, in order to better understand how to hide my own.

It's what keeps the Golden Child a beacon, ironically, one that has disturbed my siblings, causing them unresolved tension, and dismay. It's hard for them to understand that it wasn't me being "Golden", that my primary motivator was an overwhelming sense of guilt, of potential guilt, of future guilt, of my potential mistakes, forever influencing theirs. I was mortified by every interaction they had with my peers, by the things they could possibly see on television, and so I did the one thing I continue to regret to this day. I pushed my siblings away, in my effort to protect them, I kept them away from my friends to shield them from their language, their thoughts, their ideas. That meant tersely informing them they needed to go play elsewhere, or to go home while I was staying past sunset with my friends. It was easier then, there were only two vices, television, and my foul mouthed inconsiderate-of-my-duties friends. It's a wound that is still on the mend.

They call me the Golden Child, not as a sign of respect, but as a small rebellion, because their adolescence, their little rebellions were unwelcome, and unfortunately misunderstood as evidence of a failure to parent.

Like the revitalized Gold industry stepping away from it's use of Cyanide and Mercury and turning to environmentally friendly techniques to sustain itself. I'm slowly allowing everyone to see that the Golden Child, was really Gold plated, and that it's time for it to be removed from the mantle.

Day 35 - Part 4: What I did. Fin.

Throw interview.
Travel.
Stalk recruiters.
Depressed.

We last left off at a point of inflection, I'd serendipitously found a path to explore, but to get there, I went to some dark depths, physically and mentally.

Somewhere between Qatar and Nigeria, I went into a tail spin of self doubt, regret, and eventually self loathing. I gained 20 kilograms, didn't leave the house, and spent countless hours playing video games. At the time, I remember justifying this by telling myself I deserved a break, after working without weekends for 3 years, for exhausting my health and getting a herniated disc due to the stress, sleeplessness and never ending work.

It wasn't long after gaining all that weight and suffering from random ailments that I finally realized that the way my stress is expressed is physical and internal. I have a calm demeanour, and instead of outwardly expressing my state of mind, there are gears constantly churning, at times falling apart as they self-immolate.

It was in this state, that I was invited to an interview by a recruiter. I'd been adding random people on LinkedIN 'the professional network' to pursue job leads. For every job application I completed, I'd follow the threads of posts, comment and add the responsible recruiter.

After months of stalking, yup, nothing happened. This recruiter got in touch through a friend's recommendation. They had recently successfully placed my friend, and so my friend put in a good word. All that LinkedIN crock didn't work, if I'd remained consistent from 2015 until now though, I'd have a "following" I could tap into to punt the latest bitcoin fad, I kid, and digress.

Feeling finally validated, I spoke to the recruiter, it felt nice to be pursued, completely forgetting all the lessons I learned as an 'Hr' person who has experienced being on the other side of that phone call. I told myself I deserved this! I was the best candidate by far, like all the other candidates were made to believe by every recruiter.

The thing is, I hadn't come across Carol Dweck's book 'Growth Mindset' at this point. I'd later learn that I exhibited a good number of fixed mindset tendencies and behaviours. This didn't help me none on the interview. Desperate to know it all and do it all, one of the questions at the final interview, was about a very specific detail of work that I'd done. A detail so remote and lost in the fog of memories, that I froze. In my fixed mindset, I completely blanked out, and that tail spin I'd been in, came crashing like a heavy wave of slimy impostor syndrome, pulling me under, with the all too familiar voices that kept me company in that dark room with black-out curtains drawn. The interviewer didn't matter, my performance thus far didn't matter. All that mattered was that I had made a mistake, that I was a fraud, that I didn't deserve to be there, and that I should just get up and walk away, that I've embarrassed myself, that I'd embarrassed the recruiter, that I'd embarrassed my friend.

My friend after hearing what happened, simply stated, you threw that interview, and with a salary like that? It must have been on purpose. He was right, the self-sabotage was extreme, because if I had an inkling of growth mindset, it would have kicked in and took ownership of the mistake, clarified why I couldn't recall that detail, and found a way to clarify the need and provide an appropriate value oriented answer. But no, my friend was right. I threw that interview. The same way I'd been throwing myself and my health under a bus.

So I decided to do something I'd wanted to do for sometime, a seed that was planted in me in my youth spent reading history on the floor of the public library. To travel through the major Mediterranean countries that impacted Islamic civilization. Turkey, Morocco, and Spain. I ended up passing through Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Italy in addition to that list.

The travels didn't contribute to my growth, but they did allow for a pause in life. A space for perspective to percolate, and for openness and observation to take firmer root.

And that my friend, is what I did.

Day 34 - Part 3: What I did

You have voted for!

books
Show up
Stalk recruiters
Experiment

So I'll make this fun and tie these together.

Once upon a time in Nigeria; on a night I wasn't feeling particularly social, I decided against my apathy to drive to Freedom Park, so called because it used to be a colonial prison, it was reclaimed to advance the spirit of culture and creativity. Once a month, on a Friday, the bands come out to play in the open air, and the food stalls buzz with local fare. But I wasn't feeling it this week, but I went anyway and like most things that start this way, I ended up meeting some new faces, which had stories to tell about different places, and the conversation carried on and became an invitation to an evening potluck.

At this potluck, I had a conversation with a gentleman who moved to Lagos from New York, who shared that he graduated in Philosophy, and worked at a bank for some time, be fore he tired and decided to learn how to code. Website development being one thing I was considering, my ears perked up. I'd been mulling over my career choices and wondering if there was anything I could do about it. Accessing a multitude of online courses and perusing a ton of books didn't really do it for me, so when he shared that he went to a bootcamp, I was like what's that?

The year was 2015, General Assembly (GA) had yet to raise the $70 million in venture capital, and wasn't as widely known as it may be today. He had attended a lesser known but infinitely more useful anti-bootcamp. Instead of the 12 weeks to complete a GA course and line up a job with your new hot skills, they took 12 weeks to lay the foundation required to press ahead and continue learning how to learn. At the end of 7 months of toiling 7 days a week, you will have delivered a fully working project, possibly two, and will be (with the right dedication) less embarrassed to present your work to potential employers. The only issue? It was in Colorado. Newly married, living in Lagos for the foreseeable future, that was one project frugality could not support, imagine uprooting for 7 months to live on savings to learn something I wasn't sure I would do well in.

There it was, I actually didn't care enough to learn how to code, I'd been faffing about for months trying to learn it online, and it hadn't clicked, nor did I want it to. There was something else he mentioned while I was dreaming about a life in the Colorado ski hills. User experience - the design bit came later - was something equally as important as coding the website.

"Wait, I heard this before, in Qatar, it was introduced to me as web accessibility" I contributed eagerly.

"Yes, that's an element of user experience, taking into account who is using the website, or the application on your phone, is a part of good UX" He offered.

So here, international dots are connecting, and my fanciful coding daydream is still not dying. I told myself, once I'm back in North America, it's still an option. I've noticed, Sometimes, that having a method can be confused for having an end in mind.

Fast forward a few years, and I do find myself in North America, perusing Meetup as I usually do when I'm in a new town, and I find an invitation to an event that was hosting an introduction "to everything Moe is interested in" night. They had UX, Front end development, and social media marketing being presented over an hour and a half time frame. By now, I know one thing to be true, I am not a solitary learner, I need people to experience the learning through and with. But it was cemented for me that evening.

So I learned what UX was, and I remember getting excited, because it had the best of what I used to do as an "Human Resource" person, with none of the boring or soul bending parts. So I signed up!

I'll clarify, since my writing is still a work in progress, that so far we've touched on two things, Show up! Always! And experiment! Which leaves me time enough for books.

Being a part of the UX foundations course, allowed me to interact with people who had either read up on, or continue to read up on all things UX and things within arms length of it.

For someone who studied social sciences, I wish some of these books were part of the curriculum, especially in any of my Sociology or Anthropology courses. I'll work on compiling the list for you, to satiate your curiosity. But I ended up reading or referencing around 50 books over a 3 month period. I'd been abroad for the better part of 10 years, so I went a little wild when I had access to a library again, I feel bad for kids who grow up getting used to click here bookstores these days. I digress as I'm wont to.

I'll weave stalking recruiters into the next one, or maybe the one after that? At some point, I promise!

Day 33 - Part 2: What I did

In plain, non-highfaluting speak, here's what it came down to.

I left my HR career behind because I recognized it for it's blood sucking, hope crushing, management rubber stamping reality. I wasn't brave enough to give up on it, I begged, I pleaded, I was ignored, and spat on (if overzealous recruiters firing off questions counts). I don't like to give up, and there was an element of my hitherto identity being in jeopardy at play.

The things that made my exploration possible? I lived a frugal life early in my career, I lived with family when I could, I roomed with 5 guys in a 2 bedroom flat at one point. I'm the kind of person that's scared of a house, because every additional room means I'm that far away from a human, I might as well be in a grave. I paid down all my debts, all of them, and saved the majority of my cash. I stayed active and healthy, not completely influenced by me, but I don't drink alcohol, smoke anything, or stay up too late.

Boring life? Maybe for you, but I basically earned some health credits that I'm currently spending in my 30s, when my body isn't as pliable as it used to be (that's another post).

I think I'm writing too much here, so instead, I'll write out a list of things, and you can tell me what I should expand on.

books
experiment
show up
volunteer
shadow
course
travel
depressed
beg
bomb interview
stalk recruiters

Day 32 - Part 1: What I did

I'm 35, by no means am I young, somehow, and this is wholly my own doing, I can not fathom starting, or running a business. In my mind's eye, I am not capable. In my heart, there is a fear, a stalking primal fear, a sixth sense corner of the eye felt someone watching me hairs on end fear. It has a multitude of names, and yet four letters do not diminish it's power in any way.

I write this, because I remember this same feeling being attributed to something else I wasn't capable of, I wasn't worthy of. Transitioning from Human Resources (HR), to something more rewarding, to anything really. It wasn't the cleanest break from a career I the better part of a decade on. I didn't float from job to job, I was unemployed for a good amount of time. I burned through my savings, I lived on floors, anywhere I was welcome to really. The adventures, the people, and the places, if only I wasn't a private person and had posted my travels on social media.

There we have it! It didn't take long to surface, "if only", the bane of my existence, if hindsight was a trade good I'd have a monopoly. It's fitting really, because this maybe the first part of a series where I'll share one of the few things I don't need to "if only" to you about because I once upon a time decided to do something about the roles I kept getting rejected, the roles I knew I could do so well in, because I fixed CVs, helped people prep for interviews and got people jobs. It became a running joke at one point, the HR guy who can't get an HR job.

Any guesses why? It was sabotage, treason! of the highest order! by me, against me, for me. My heart wasn't in it, my days got longer, my waistline wider, and my mind was dull with the pain of creating yet another account, for yet another CV filter to ignore. I knew how those things were programmed, and I was still insane enough to continue applying. I can feel my blood pumping, the anger I have towards those systems, sure, they're saving company time, but how many people hours are they wasting! I haven't looked, but I'm sure there's someone on Unwork being paid to waste time applying for someone's job. The human waste economy must be ginormous. I digress.

So did I escape? yes, and it feels glorious today, even as I write now, with no project underway, with no steady income, I feel absolutely resplendent. Why? I guess there's enough for a part two. See you after the break.

Day 31 - What's the opposite of curiosity?

After my run in with the youth from the workshop, I started remembering what I was like, in the context of school, and things organized in that manner (field trips, religious excursions, etc). I was initially full of wonder when I first arrived on North American shores, but slowly, it seems that my sense of wonder was chipped away without me noticing.

If I lay the blame on the education system of the time, I can recall maybe two, at most three teachers, that inspired wonder and curiosity, over a span of 7 years of school. I recall maybe 2 from my time in university, one was a new professor, so I assume not as jaded, and the other deeply passionate about her subject matter, and it was contagious.

Otherwise, I was in what was a state that seemed the default, for me and most of my peers. I was allowed to ask questions, in class, but I don't think I was taught how to ask questions. It was usually a passive instruction, "does anyone have any questions" and "Are you sure you don't have any questions?".

Somehow, the apathetic manner in which questions are solicited from the student body by teachers, alongside puberty and a burning teenage desire to protect one-self from embarrassment and mockery, meant that brave, confident peers were in short order. Which meant, I didn't surround myself with people smarter than me, who asked the right questions, and were adamant about fully satisfying their curiosity.

I feel as if I witnessed a little of that with the youth I was with. The air was heavy with that thing that doesn't allow people to taste life, that thing that extinguishes the parts of life that require risk. The parts of life that aren't physical risk, the parts that may wound our pride, ego, social standing. The parts that leverage your curiosity, and have you saying "ok, what's the worse that could happen"

What is that called? What is the opposite of curiosity? What do you call something that shuts a door to life?

Day 30 - Lead with your deepest darkest

So the workshop, like most workshops, didn't follow the agenda to the T. What's great about an agenda though, is that with enough prep, you can have a number of options you can pivot to if you feel the room isn't there with you.

I have to do a better job about transitioning from openers, ice breakers and warm ups, in to the meat of the matter. I think I enjoy observing interactions and getting a feel for the people in the room a tiny bit much. Which makes it all the harder to carry out what I need to in the allotted time.

The youth I was facilitating for were also drained by a weekend full activities, or so I was made aware. One thing I was proud of, was I allowed myself to deviate, and lead them in something I wasn't as comfortable with, or so I thought. Because it ended up being the part that was most appreciated.

I led them through an exercise called the Stuck, created by the Presencing Institute. It ties in brilliantly with the emotional intelligence skill 'self-awareness'. It's an exercise where the body is felt, and is allowed to convey what and where it is in this moment. Allowing oneself to let it change form into sculpture, both of being stuck, and being freed from the stuck position.

I experienced it and thought it profound, I was surprised when the youth ingratiated me by experiencing, or trying to, their stuck. Remember what criticism, judgement, and blame felt like in your youth? It's a tough thing to break through even in adulthood and I commended them for that. I hope strongly enough.

Unlike my presentation to adults, this time I got one young dude who took the time to say he appreciated my presence and the content.

If you're curious, have a look at the agenda and the links within below.

P.s. I knew I wrote the title first for a reason, the room turned around, physically and emotionally, when I shared my worst moment as a young painfully shy person. So yup, title holds.

http://bit.ly/2Lpw7sl

Day 29 - Emotions and the body

I'm on the wire, when the pressure hits, my juices get going. It must be a hangup from my early years in school. Always bored with the content of class, I ended up doing everything last minute, and still getting out with a decent grade. If somehow, I could trick my mind into believing the deadline was much earlier, so I can benefit from both the output, and the time I have leftover from finishing earlier. But that's for another day.

Here I'll think through what I want to take a room of 13 to 17 year olds through. The purpose is to engage them on the topic of Emotional Intelligence. Which had me thinking. What is the difference between that and empathy. But first I'll start with what Rob calls a Full Value Contract, which is an agreement between them and me, the facilitator, on how the group will operate moving forward. Also known as guiding principles with an encouragement to "fully value" each member of the group. The teams will have to, within their group, answer the following questions, remembering to tell them to select a "presenter" to share what the groups answers were.

Team 1:
What does it mean to respect someone?
What is the best way to respect you?

Team 2:
What will help you cooperate with the people in this group?
What can you do or say to help this group work together?

Team 3:
What does it mean to be physically and emotionally safe?
What does it mean to take risks physically and emotionally?

Team 4:
What does it mean to be present in the group?
What types of behaviors display being present?

Team 5:
What does it mean to tell your truth?
What do you feel are the outcomes (good or bad) of sharing honestly?

While they debrief, we capture it on a large paper, ensuring that these points are also included if they're not mentioned.

These include:

• Participate in a way that is safe for you (socially, emotionally, physically, etc.)
• Be here 100%
• Respect the diversity of everyone in the group (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, personal beliefs). We all have a great deal to learn from each other. You don’t have to agree, but you need to listen honestly and think about how someone else sees the world.

The next step is to individually write down
"
• A strength that they bring to the group (such as energy, humor, knowledge, etc.)
• One thing that they need from the group (support, clear communication, etc.)
• What is one personal goal you have for yourself during this program?
• What is one goal you have for the group during this program?"

Then they develop the Full Value Contract by agreeing to 5 points, after which they trace their hands and write their names in the middle, as a signature.

Once that's complete we're ready to start! I'll have them breakup into a 1-2-4-all exercise, and have them individually write down what their understanding of empathy is, and what their understanding of emotional intelligence is. I'm hoping here to allow for them to first be OK with their own contributions and that when the debrief happens for the full room, they also understand they weren't too far off, and there's no such thing as knowing it all.

For my sake, I'll define empathy being the ability to feel the emotions others are going through, and that can be cognitive or thinking it through from another persons perspective (example of asking for more allowance, but acknowledging a parent's point of view), it can be emotional or feeling it in your body, like stubbing a toe or a baby crying, and it can be compassionate which is a healthy blend that balances the previous two.

Emotional intelligence is split into 4 muscle groups, one is self awareness, understanding the emotions you are experiencing and being able to name them. Self management, once you understand the emotion, it's being able to interpret it based on context, how is what is happening around you impacting how you feel and managing your emotions according to the situation. Me speaking on stage in grade 8 for example, could have used some of that. Social awareness, understanding the emotions and actions of others, whether it's someone in a line, or an event happening half way around the world. Connecting with your environment allows you to be better able to judge your reality and make decisions. Interpersonal management, the ability to relate to others, is how you manage emotions in interactions with others, think of a parent with baby who is upset, I make funny faces and start laughing, he's too young to be self aware so he copies me.

This should have us at the 45 minute mark, which means we can start with the presencing theater exercises. I'll introduced them as a way of practicing awareness of body and the emotions that are attached. I can only imagine how awkward and self conscious I was as a kid, so here, I hope the super power teams they've already been in, and the contracts they created, will overpower any shy tendencies. I will have to model the movements, and share what my positions were when going through the exercise. And finally, we close with the take 5 exercise, where they trace their fingers inhaling as they trace up to the tip of the finger and exhaling as they trace to the groove between the fingers.

Yay! Not bad for some last minute workshop notes.