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!


At 12:47 AM, Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said...

I'll definitely be there next year Jodee! Can't WAIT to come to spend some time with you and the other smart people in Fargo!!!

At 7:53 AM, Blogger whatswithinu said...

Jodee, this was the most incredible event and I was so thrilled to be a part. Thank you for all your amazing efforts. It was truly wonderful to look around the room and see such enthusiasm -- even better it was great to be a part of deep, enriching, action-filled conversation. Count me in for next year. I wouldn't miss it!!

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see the excitement after watching all of the lead-up to the event, Jodee!

It looks as if a lot of folks actually didn't know all this stuff and were delighted to find out!

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Phil & Pam:

It was truly an amazing experience. I'll look forward to sharing it with both of you next year. Let's start the buzz NOW!!

Thanks for all your support! I'm so grateful for each of you in my life!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Steve: I think we all learned something this past week! Hope you can join us next year!

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Scott D. McArthur said...

This may interest you - England has just gone smoke free!

At 8:16 AM, Blogger David Zinger said...

I also hope to be there next year, way to go Jodee.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Scott: I just commented on your blog about the smoke-free situation. I'd like to see all workplaces do away with small talk altogether, whether on a break or not. Let's ask better questions that lead to more meaningful dialogue. I know it's a stretch, but hey, let's dream big!

David: I will look forward to seeing you in Fargo for next year's summit! It was a blast - and we missed you!

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Douglas Eason said...

Hi Jodee

I've only just started reading about your Bigger Small Talk Topic, so please forgive me if you've already covered this subject.
However, I'd assume (Though I know it's wrong to ever assume) that the majority of people involved in the subject come from round about the same intellectual level and possibly the same class and social group. eg. bloggers.

I blog from a coffee shop and quite often engage other coffee goers in conversation. I find that many of the younger generation and those from poorer upbringings don't necessarily know how to conduct a meaningful conversation.
Even small talk is beyond them. It's a scary fact to consider that many of these are seemingly educated teenagers, but I know of at least one that at the age of 17 still can't read without saying the words aloud.

I'm just wondering if children factored into the equation or not.

Hope You're Having A Great Day

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...


We had one person at our event who was 19 and I suppose the oldest ones were in their 50s or maybe early 60s, so we covered the age range pretty well. The topics we talked about included children and what we dream for the educational and communication needs of the future generations.

There really was no common ground that brought all the participants together except their commitment to whatever they believed bigger small talk was. I knew most of the participants beforehand (and I suppose some of them were there to support me in my dream for this event), but there were some people I had never met before.

I do have to believe that the people who attended believe strongly in the opportunity to advance their own communication because they did invest in being there - either time or money - so I suppose that put them in a certain social class.

I think what I see as the common ground is not only the desire to talk about deeper things, but a desire to actually do something beyond just talk.

What I've noticed from younger people and people of different upbringings is that I can learn so much when I just listen without judgment. I don't think enough of us get practice in listening, and in being listened to, and I see that as a huge opportunity.

So next year we'll create an event that is even bigger and deeper than this year's event. Maybe we'll add some conversations about listening and what we can learn and what we can do with what we learn.

I hope you'll consider joining us! You have great insights!


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