Friday, June 29, 2007

Open Space at Bigger Small Talk Summit

Well, we completed our inaugural Open Space event at the Bigger Small Talk Summit in Fargo and I'd have to say it was a rousing success!

The format was perfect for building more meaningful dialogue and gave participants a chance to practice listening and speaking on a deeper level, which will lead to more meaningful relationships and action in their work and home lives.

The nine agenda topics created by the participants were:
  1. Strategic Career Development
  2. Taking The Leap (into an entrepreneurial venture) - What's Next?
  3. How to Instill Honesty and Integrity in Children
  4. Being a Square Peg in a Round Hole
  5. Integrating Thinking into Education
  6. Understanding Other People's Perceptions to Facilitate Better Conversations
  7. Integrating Meditative or Quiet Time in Education
  8. How to Create and Maintain a Great Blog
  9. Faith and Leadership

All of the participants in the Open Space event agreed that they would consider attending next year's Summit, so we'll be planning that event shortly!

The Genius Workshop, conducted by Dick Richards, was also met with unanimous support. Among the things participants enjoyed the most were:

  • A chance to be creative
  • Figuring out my essential qualities
  • Working with others to find answers
  • The "deepness"
  • Meeting others and self discovery

The results from our two-day event prove to me that people are hungry for more deep conversations and self-discovery.

We're looking at the third week of June 2008 for the 2nd annual Summit for Bigger (and Deeper) Small Talk. Mark your calendar! How FAR will you GO? Come to FARGO!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shift Happens - I'm Counting On It!

I'm coming off a wonderful month of amazing experiences - so I apologize in advance for not posting more often. I'll try to sum up my month in two words: PARADIGM SHIFT.

I was in Chicago in May for Linkage's Organizational Development Summit and had a chance to meet great people and learn from some amazing speakers. From there I came home for a week and then left for Florida for 2 weeks where I participated in the First Annual TWI Summit and spent a week with Bob Proctor and Michael Beckwith. Wow.

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I had the pleasure of hosting Lisa Haneberg, author of Two Weeks to a Breakthrough, Focus Like a Laser Beam, and the blog Management Craft. It was an absolute joy!

Lisa participated in four events here in Fargo, including one sponsored by my friend Dr. Susan Mathison of Catalyst Medical Center and Bock's Office. It was appropriate that Lisa talks about how we can become catalysts for our own and other people's breakthroughs (that's Susan and me with Lisa below - above Lisa and Hazel outside the fabulous Hotel Donaldson, where she stayed the first night).

Lisa really challenged me to think differently and to be more focused on the actions I'm involved with as I grow my business. That was fabulous advice, and, coupled with everything else I've been learning lately, is really challenging my old paradigms.

As I was preparing this morning to be on a local TV news show to promote next week's Bigger Small Talk Summit, I found myself visualizing lots and lots of people, with lots of activity and lots of action - and I stopped myself before the dream could get too big. It was an automatic response and one I probably wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't been in breakthrough mode thanks to Lisa.

I realized that my paradigm is to expect nothing so I won't be disappointed. It played right into my old story that says I'm not good enough to expect anything great. It was then that I started to wonder how often I've stopped myself from dreaming big without even realizing that I'm stopping.

I'm very good at recognizing opportunities and possibilities for other people - but I don't seem to be as good at taking my own advice. So I'm working to have a breakthrough on shattering my old paradigm which says "play it safe and give up when things get too difficult."

I'm counting on Lisa's advice that in order to achieve breakthroughs, we need to share our goals with others, take small steps toward those goals because small steps yield big results, do our daily practice, and redefine our definition of success.

My goal for next week is to create an outstanding opportunity for people to actually practice deeper conversation and communication - with others as well as with themselves - in order to achieve breakthrough results in their own communication. That's my share. My first small step toward that goal today was the news interview. Daily practice will be to continue to share today and to visualize my goal instead of the safety of a "whatever" goal. And to redefine success not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. This will be a fantastic event and I can't wait to tell you more!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Are You Living On Purpose?

June is turning out to be my month for new book promotions! Next week I'll be meeting Lisa Haneberg as she zooms in to Fargo on her promotional tour for her newest book Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.

This week I'm turning the spotlight on another new book I'm helping promote. Brad Swift, author of the blog Living and Working on Purpose has a very cool idea for the promotion of his brand new book Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life: he's doing a virtual blog tour.

As a life purpose coach, I'm honored to be one of the promoters for Brad's book (in fact, I passed the book on to another life purpose coach here in Florida who also found it to be a wonderful resource).

Brad does a great job giving readers an idea of what life purpose is all about and, through personal stories from his own life, he helps us define our own purpose. He invites us to imagine a world where everyone knows - and lives - his or her life purpose ... a world in which we're all living on purpose in a World on Purpose. What a great image!

This book ties in so well with what I'm learning this week at Bob Proctor's consultant training: we really can have outstanding results by simply making new choices despite our conditioned cultural responses. We are given six passages to the purposeful path: 1) Preparing for the Journey (if we don't know where we're going, we'll probably end up somewhere else; 2) Starting on the Purposeful Path with the Life on Purpose Perspective (which will open a door to a new world of purpose and possibility); 3) Uncovering What Has Been Shaping Your Life: Your Inherited Purpose (living with what others have told us); 4) Clarifying and Polishing Your True, Divinely Inspired Purpose; 5) Learning the Tools for Living on Purpose; and 6) Mastering the Tools for Living on Purpose.

Throughout the book we are given great ideas for learning to be authentic, to create new possibilities and to share them with others, and to get rid of old paradigms that we might not even realize have been shaping our lives.

As a graduate of Landmark Education's Curriculum for Living, I'm wondering if Brad Swift has also participated in this education because I recognize a lot of similarities in the concepts. Regardless, I was glad to read so many great ideas which really helped reinforce what I'd learned during that training, which was hugely significant to me when I completed it in 2003.

There is a lot of information in this book - and it may be a lot to swallow in one sitting, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to really digest the important lessons and wisdom. If you're ready to improve the results in your own life - and help others find those answers in their own lives - this is a great tool.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mastering My Mind with Bob Proctor

I'm blessed and grateful to be spending the week with Bob Proctor at Life Success Consultant training here in Jupiter, Florida.

I'm discovering that this training is going to add another dimension to what I can provide for my clients through Bock's Office, but I'm getting an opportunity to learn the concepts myself first, which is one of the huge benefits to this career. I realize more all the time that the best way to teach is through learning.

If you'd like more information about creating new results in your life - whether at work or in your personal life, I'd love to tell you more about what I'm learning here. To change your life, change your mind!

We will be spending the day on Thursday at a seminar with Bob and Michael Beckwith! What a gift!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bob Proctor here I come!

Well, it's Sunday morning here in sunny Florida, and I'm getting repacked to set off on my next adventure with Bob Proctor's Life Success Consultant training.

I've been in Florida since June 4 where I spent three days in Orlando at the TWI Summit (I was a presenter). Then I spent a day visiting my cousin and his family in Brandon (near Tampa), then one afternoon on a beach and a night in Palm Harbor (north by Clearwater), took the convertible across the state to visit my friend Sharon in Palm Beach Gardens (on the east coast) where I've spent the last two nights, and now I'm on to Jupiter Beach (not too far from here) where I'll be with Bob Proctor for the next six days! What a great adventure!

As I've been studying my material for the week, I've learned a lot already, so I can't wait to see what's in store for me for the rest of the week. I've learned about the distinction between my mind and my brain, and how many of us may have gotten those two mixed up. I understand how I've been conditioned to see the world through my five physical senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) and to believe that's all there is to know, but how limiting that has been to my thinking ability. I realize that I have intellectual faculties which - as I learn to use and hone them - will help my thinking ability. I'm more determined than ever to figure out a way to bring this learning into schools so kids can develop their intellectual muscles just as physical education develops their physical muscles.

I write a lot about thinking ... and I even catch myself saying "I think" a lot ... but how much do I really think? As I reflect on my life, it seems that a lot of the actions I've taken have been pretty routine - pretty habitual - pretty determined by my conditioning. If I would really THINK and realize what I actually KNOW, I would be much better off. Hmmm ... developing intellectual muscles. How much better could I have been at my basketball career if I'd learned to think a bit more instead of just following the rules all the time.

So that's what I'm looking forward to this next week. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

THINK About It (part 2)

I'm so excited for the Summit for Bigger Small Talk! As I've been telling people about it here in Fargo, the buzz is getting me enthused all over again! I'm sensing an amazing field of creativity emerging, and I know whoever comes to the summit will be exactly the right people!

We're going to be using Open Space Technology as a basis for the event on June 27. I don't want to give too much away because I want people to be spontaneous when they come, but Open Space does not require a pre-set agenda. I know that will freak some people out because we have been conditioned all our lives to follow pre-set agendas and not create them for ourselves. We want others to tell us what to do and when to do it. We don't really know how to think for ourselves because we rarely get the opportunity to practice and to flex those muscles.

That's the world we currently live in - a world of rules and standards and traditions and customs ... the world of the emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes. I love that story because it is so indicative of our usual state of being in corporate America. According to Wikipedia, the metaphor involves a situation wherein the overwhelming (usually unempowered) majority of observers willingly share in a collective ignorance of an obvious fact, despite individually recognizing the absurdity.

The Summit will be very different. It will allow us to suspend our usual conditioned behavior and bring us into the creative stage where we will have to think for ourselves about topics and subjects that really are important to us, the attendees.

Think for a minute about a day in the life of _________ (insert your name there). Where do you get a chance to think for yourself? You have the alarm set to the same radio station (or buzzer). You go through your morning routine without even batting an eye. You get into the same car, bus or train, and take the same route to the same office and do the same work and do it all the next day. Now I'm sure it's not that rigid, but I hope you get the point. I do it, too, although I'm a lot more flexible than I used to be now that I work out of my home (or various coffee shops around town). But I still find myself thinking the same thoughts I thought yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.

How might we encourage each other to start thinking differently? And how can we get out of that rut that believes that nothing will change anyway so what's the use? And how can we get beyond the cynicism and resignation that seem to plague the world we see every day and hear about on the news every night?

I think we'll uncover the answer to some of those questions at the Summit - at least that's my intention. I'll be there, so my intention will cause some shift in the outcome of the day. Your presence here will add to that intention and so each person who comes will add to that collective intention. It won't be the same if you're not here!

Our committee is already making plans for the 2008 Summit, so if you can't make it this year, consider coming next year!

How FAR will you GO? THINK about it, and come to FARGO!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bigger Small Talk changes venue

Just a note to all of you who are planning to come to Fargo for the Bigger Small Talk Summit June 27-28 ... we have a new venue!

The event will now be held at the Doublewood Inn, 3333 13th Ave S in Fargo. The number to call for reservations is 701-235-3333. Starting Monday they will have a block of rooms reserved for our event!

I wish you could be here and feel the energy around this event in Fargo!! You won't want to miss it! We're going to use Open Space Technology so every participant will be part of creating the event. It promises to be an outstanding opportunity to practice deeper and more meaningful conversation - and to take some ideas and contacts back home with you!

Register today at I'll look forward to meeting lots of new friends!