Monday, March 02, 2009

Nurturing the Choir

I just spent almost four fabulous days with my new friend Barbara McAfee and I tell you what, that woman is amazing!

Barbara did six presentations over three days here in the Fargo-Moorhead-Detroit Lakes area, even braving a blizzard on Thursday to get to the 61 eager audience members in DL. She shared her message of finding the "verb" you can live in all aspects of your life, including work, and also showed how important music is to people all over the world. It really is a universal language.

One thing (among many) I learned from Barbara this week, and which was reflected in a comment to my previous post here, is that maybe it's time to give the choir some nourishment and love instead of looking past them to everyone else.

What I think Barbara meant by that, and what I mean by that, is that so often I dream so big and so broad and so wide that I forget to notice what's already happening and who's already here. I'm in such pursuit of the next thing that I forget to stop and be in gratitude for what's happening in front of my eyes.

I looked up the origin of the term "preaching to the choir" and I really got a huge "aha." Here's a definition from The Phrase Finder:

'Preaching to the choir' is of US origin. It clearly refers to the pointlessness of a preacher attempting to convert those who, by their presence in church, have already demonstrated their faith.

Even though I knew what it meant, to see it in such black and white terms was kind of startling. Given my fundamental Christian upbringing and the resistance I now have to all things fundamental, it's funny that Barbara would bring up a term which has such obvious roots in fundamentalism.

At any rate, I got to thinking about how in pursuit of sharing Barbara's message with the whole world (or my Fargo-Moorhead-Detroit Lakes communities, anyway) I may have overlooked the dedicated people who are already changing the world by changing their thoughts about what is really true for them. Those are the people who I want to nurture and support and just have meaningful conversation with.

Warren's comment in my last post really reminded me that it's maybe time to just relax with the folks who are already of like mind instead of always trying to find those who aren't and don't want to be and "converting" them. That's exhausting.

Although my vision of full houses for each of Barbara's events didn't come true the way I had hoped, I was reminded in each of her six engagements of one of the principles of Open Space Technology: "whoever comes is the right people." That was proven over and over as we had amazing experiences with each audience.

So I'm taking this moment to thank the "choir" - and to sing their praises. Thank you for stepping out this past week and experiencing Barbara McAfee's music and presence. And thank you, Barbara, for reminding me of so many things I think I already knew but had forgotten.

I think it's time for a good old fashioned hootenanny!


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Jodee. Thanks.

Very early in my career as a change agent I learned to focus my energy on the people who were already with me--the choir.

When initiating change, the people involved will fall along a bell curve with respect to their attitude toward it. Some will be right there with you and some won't ever be there. The vast majority will be in the middle, undecided or ambivalent, frightened or disinterested.

I learned to focus my energy on those who are with me. Helping them to be successful makes the change more attractive to those in the middle, and so they move to that end of the curve.

It also helps to keep my energy up to work with people who are like minded and so makes me more effective.

I've known far too many change agents who wasted far too much energy "dealing with resistance." So I say preach to the choir and help make them a really attractive and well known choir so others will want to join.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Thanks, Dick, for your wisdom, as always. It's great to know that I have a friend in my corner no matter what. I treasure you!

I'm off to nurture my choir now. I'm planning a big get-together in a few weeks for the master mind community which now numbers near 180. If you were here, you'd certainly be on that invitation list, but I'm sure we will have a chance to kick up our heels (or kick them back!) when you're here in June!

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...a friend in my corner no matter what."


At 2:30 PM, Blogger Chris Johnson said...

Hey--thanks so much for stopping by


Post a Comment

<< Home