I have facilitated workshops for the past five days in a row, from Sunday through yesterday, Thursday. Each forum enabled me to engage the audience in the exchange of ideas.
This is one of the most rewarding parts of my work. I show up for the workshop, well-prepared, and with a clear idea of the content I want to cover. But, at the start, I do not know what will happen in the workshop, because I have not yet heard the participants’ contributions.
When I meet people as they come in the room, they are always friendly, but all I can learn about them as we greet each other is what is written on their name tag and in the few words we can exchange. But, with each person, I am am confident that there is a depth that I have not yet uncovered.
Once a workshop starts, I begin to solicit contributions from the attendees. As I provoke them and prod them, ideas begin to surface. One person’s thoughts encourage another to speak, sometimes to agree, sometimes to amend, often to debate.
As I stand in front of a group, the vision I have is that there is a well of intelligence seated before me, and my job is tap into that well, using my ideas and concepts to bring forth new, stimulating thoughts. Every group I work with is different, because each well of intelligence has its own strengths and personality.
Presentations are not about presenting. They are about being present enough to engage a group of people, in a way that creates new ideas that none of us could have created without the collaboration of each other.