Friday, March 28, 2008

Experience the Effects of Bigger Small Talk in Fargo June 10-11!

Are you noticing that people are starting to talk about things that matter? Are you seeing relationships start to shift because people are starting to really listen to their children, their employees, their constituents in a way that makes a difference?

If you're not seeing that in your own world, you'll want to pay a visit to Fargo this summer because that's what's happening here. We've now got a list of 104 people who have been involved in at least one master mind group where they've committed 10 weeks to studying and practicing communication that matters and the results are really beginning to be evident in their personal and professional lives.

Plans are underway for the 2nd Annual Bigger Small Talk Summit where you'll have a chance to interact with some of these people who have taken on the challenge of Bigger Small Talk in their own lives. Watch for more details in the next week, but in the meantime, save the date: June 10-11 and plan to be with us in Fargo!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let's Choose Our Right Minds!

My friend Tony called pretty late on Thursday night and told me I had to watch this video from TED. He said to call him back no matter how late and tell him what I thought.

Well, we had a great conversation centered around this very powerful and emotional presentation by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist who suffered a stroke and lived to tell all about it.

One of my master mind groups here in Fargo read Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind and we have done a lot of discussing about the right and the left hemispheres of our brains, but not to the extent Jill talks about in this video. However, as we are now studying Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, I find there is a connection.

I was very moved by this presentation, and find that more and more of my conversations seem to involve the level of authenticity and even spirituality I sensed from Ms. Taylor in this presentation. She reminds us to choose where we'd like to spend our time, and indicates that we might be able to consciously choose our "right minds." I think we're getting closer to being able to bring the best of ourselves to our conversations at work and at home and our families and businesses and communities are going to benefit greatly from this authenticity.

What are your thoughts?

If you want to be part of a grassroots junior TED event, consider coming to the Bigger Small Talk Summit here in Fargo June 10-11. We will be using Open Space to create opportunities to present topics we're passionate about and want to share. The website will be coming back online April 1, so watch for details to follow there.

Maybe you've got a story like Jill Bolte Taylor's you'd like to share. I can guarantee we'll have an audience for you in Fargo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's Your Story (In Six Words ...)?

I heard about a really interesting book yesterday on Jean Chatzky's XM Radio program. The book is called "Not Quite What I Was Planning," and it's a collection of more than 800 six-word memoirs, including some from celebrities like Stephen Colbert ("Well, I thought it was funny") and singer Aimee Mann ("Couldn't cope so I wrote songs").

The book was born when online magazine Smith asked readers to capture their own life stories in only six words. The six-word concept isn't a new one. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was asked to write a novel in only six words and his simple yet profound contribution was "For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn."

The book sounds very interesting, and I started wondering what all my friends in the wonderful world of blogging would write for their own six-word memoirs.

Here are a couple that might summarize my life:

"I knew more than I thought" and "It really wasn't all that difficult"

So, what would your six-word memoir say? Here's my challenge list:

Chris Bailey
Phil Gerbyshak
Andrew Young
Nick Smith
Mike Sansone
David Zinger
Debbie Call
Dick Richards
Lisa Haneberg
Pam Thomas
Liz Strauss
Troy Worman
Steve Farber
Terry Starbucker
Patti Digh

C'mon - play along! And invite others to join!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So How FAR is FARGO?

Jo brought up an interesting question on the last post about the Bigger Small Talk Summit in Fargo June 10-11. She's in England, which really is FAR from Fargo. But where, exactly, is Fargo?

According to the Distance Calculator at InfoPlease, it is 4057.5 miles and 6529.9 km from Fargo to London. It's 1225.6 miles from Fargo to Phoenix, where Dick Richards will be traveling from. It's a mere 208 miles for David Zinger to travel from Winnipeg. So yes, in some cases you do have to GO FAR to come to FARGO. But last year's response was fantastic. Pam Thomas had a blast and, although her schedule won't allow her to be here in person this year, I know she'll be here in spirit!

If we can swing it, I'd love to invite Mike Sansone to help me figure out how to broadcast our event over BlogRadio. I'd love this to become a TED, Jr.-type event.

So, how FAR will you GO to be part of a really cool event that leads to bigger small talk in your life? How committed are you to improving your own interpersonal and INTRApersonal conversation in your work and home life? You won't want to miss this event! It's June 10-11, 2008 right here in beautiful FARGO! I promise I'll have lots more details soon ... but mostly it will be my dreams and my aspirations, so I'll need lots of feedback.

Please let me know if you'd like to be part of the planning committee. I'd love to engage your brain and your creativity!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is It Just Me, or Is SHIFT Happening?

So, the 100th Monkey Effect has come up - both literally and metaphorically - in my life a lot recently, so I just need to check in here with my blogging family and see if it's just me or if you're feeling some sort of shift happening, too.

You know the 100th Monkey Effect, right? According to Wikipedia, the story of the “Hundredth Monkey Effect” apparently originated with Lyall Watson in his 1979 book Lifetide. In it he claimed to describe the observations of scientists studying monkeys in Japan. Some of these monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes, and gradually this new behavior spread through the younger generation of monkeys—in the usual fashion, through observation and repetition. However, Watson claimed that the researchers observed that once a critical number of monkeys was reached—the so-called hundredth monkey—this previously learned behavior instantly spread across the water to monkeys on nearby islands.

This story has come up in two of my master mind groups in the last week, and I also recognize the phenomenon itself in the past two weeks by observing random conversations at my favorite coffee shop (my second office!). Maybe I'm delusional, but since I started participating in Oprah's webcast book study of Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, I've heard conversations differently.

Maybe it's because three of my master minds are studying the book and I get a chance to be in three conversations a week about this stuff, but today at the coffee shop, just after I finished up my Wednesday master mind reading A New Earth, I ran into two former co-workers (from a job I left eight years ago) and we jumped right into a conversation about purpose in work and ended up talking about Eckhart's book and the awakening that they're sensing in themselves and feeling frustrated by at work.

These were two guys who are probably in their mid-50s. One of them has worked at this electric company for nearly 30 years and the other has been there for about 10. I can't remember talking with them about these kinds of topics when I was employed there, so I just sense that something is shifting in the world. Maybe it's me, but if it is me, I can see that my shift is inviting others to have deeper conversations even in a random encounter at a coffee shop.

I ended up giving each of them a copy of my book, The 100% Factor (which has been reprinted and re-released on Friday!) and brainstormed with them about how we might create an underground master mind group for them at their company.

After talking with them, I have a new passion for meaningful conversation at work and helping individuals within organizations get beyond the fear and ego that keeps people stuck.

What are you noticing in your own life? Are things shifting around you? Is there more meaningful conversation in your life these days? What are you noticing?

If you're as passionate as I am about practicing and modeling Bigger Small Talk in your professional and your personal life, please consider putting June 10-11 on your calendar and joining us in Fargo for the 2nd Annual Bigger Small Talk Summit where we'll create an amazing day around this topic.

How FAR would you GO to experience and create Bigger Small Talk? Come to Fargo and be part of the big shift! Details will follow VERY soon!