Creating Community

Envisioning 2011 -- What Will Open the Door for You?

The beginning of the year is when people particularly feel that there are possibilities for incredible things to happen-- at work, at home, in their personal lives.  Visioning workshops and seminars are popular, from individuals seeking support for personal development to executives needing to call forth their leadership potential.

Last night, I participated in the first meeting of the year of San Francisco Coaches in which we were invited to share our vision for our businesses in 2011.  As I was taking the subway from Berkeley to San Francisco for this session, I pulled out my trusty copy of-- no surprise here to readers of my blog postings-- The Art of Possibility.

Opening the book at random, I found I was at p. 169, “Vision.”  Speaking of synchronicity!  A couple of the criteria for “vision” caught my eye immediately:

  • A vision articulates a possibility
  • Speaking a vision transforms the speaker.  For that moment the “real world” becomes a universe of possibility and the barriers to the realization of the vision disappear. 

During our visioning session, I could feel the support of the group in hearing the possibilities within each person’s vision for the development of their businesses.  I particularly felt an expansive energy moving within the group when we focused on the personal transformative possibilities within the business vision  Two men were planning early retirement from corporate jobs to create their own coaching businesses.  One of them was already anticipating the shift in his whole life as he moved from a schedule focused primarily on corporate goals to one in which he would have the time (and would need to take the responsibility) for his health and fitness, a quality relationship, and a sense of balance in his days.  “Speaking a vision” was indeed transforming the speaker! 

            I’m committing myself now to “a universe of possibility”-- that the work I do in helping professionals find careers that inspire them and lives that are rich and rewarding overall will create an infinitely expanding community of people supporting the well-being of society and our planet.

     Join in the Discussion! 

  • What is the door of possibility that wants to open for you right now?
  • What is your largest vision for yourself and your life in 2011?
  • Where is the support for you to live out your vision?

Creating Life Satisfaction by Designing Fulfilling Relationships

I’m feeling so energized from the tele-class I presented earlier today--

“Creating Life Satisfaction-- Giving an A to Possibilities”!, which was based on the inspiring book, The Art of Possibility by Roz and Ben Zander.  A wonderful group of people joined the class who stepped forward and shared their own experiences about what’s involved in creating relationships that lead to fulfillment at work, at home, and overall in their lives.  We also experienced what it is to create-- in the moment, with each other-- ways of relating that are positive and lead to satisfying outcomes. 

            One woman shared her story about the mutually supportive and expansive relationship she’s had with her current boss.  What made this possible is each of them finding ways to reach out to each other--  being open to what each other has to offer, and also finding ways to express appreciation for the work they do together.  This woman particularly admired the way her boss fully supports her and has helped her move ahead professionally. 

            I was intrigued, as always, with how much more you get from a topic when you explore it with others.  For example, I had researched and planned this tele-class and was fully aware of its content.  However, as some of the participants were talking, I realized that there was a very important quality to creating dynamic relationships that I had assumed but not articulated: that is, the people involved must have the intention to make them positive and rewarding.  Relationships that add value to your life engage you actively.   

            Continuing this theme, we explored what it means to use your intuition in designing quality relationships that show appreciation of each other and lead to satisfying outcomes.  Some great tips that came up were: 1) really listen to the other person; 2) assume that the other person is able to do whatever they really want; 3) ask if the other person wants advice-- help him stay empowered; 4) be curious and sensitive about the other person’s feelings-- notice when you may need to ask further questions; 5) anticipate the needs of the other person; and 6) assume that everyone wants to make a contribution-- so help open the way for that to happen in your relationships. 

             At the end of the class, we mutually agreed about the value of taking time out to look at what is deep and nourishing for ourselves in building relationships that matter. As we look for how another person wants to be acknowledged and given space to open her heart and life, we open our own heart and life too.  In reaching out to others, we receive the gift of other points of view that expand and enrich our own.  

            “When we give an A, we can be open to a perspective different from our own.  For after all, it is only to a person to whom you have granted an A that you will really listen....”  (The Art of Possibility

                                          Join in the Discussion! 

  • How do you use your intuition in building quality relationships? 
  • How do you actively show up and engage with others?
  • In what way have you been empowered by someone reaching out to you in a caring and interested way?

The Joy of Team Playing-- Evolving Quality Relationships

The value of playing together as a team-- or in this case, an impromptu band-- leapt up at me during my recent Stanford University reunion.  One of my classmates, Paul, is a pianist who had also been a conductor.  Some of his friends who had also taken emeritus Professor John Chowning’s freshman seminar in modern music and contemporary society held a gathering in which those of us present were invited to participate in making our own music, all together, under Paul’s guidance. 

            Paul particularly asked us to try instruments that we’d never played before.  When I asked my friend Libby who was squeezing an accordion with verve when she’d learned how, she replied, “A few minutes ago.”  Leslie and I were working the gongs, Joel was on bongo drums, and my husband, William, a former sax player, was grinning as he experimented with his drumsticks. 

            Then Paul instructed us about the signals he would use to bring each of us into the performance.  We had to pay close attention to his arm and eye movements, and follow our cues to play short or long, soft or loud.  It had been ages since I’d played violin in my elementary school orchestra.  I realized I’d never had the sense then as I did with Paul’s conducting of how connected we all were to one another as we awaited our cues and heard the separate tones of our own instruments becoming the music we played together. 

            In addition, I experienced a profound sense of being seen and heard as Paul looked at me and signaled me to play.  They were just moments of connection, but felt totally focused on me and what I was creating under his guidance.  As I wrote in my Oct. 28th blog, Paul was “giving me an A,” which is the process of “transporting your relationships from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility” (from The Art of Possibility by Roz and Ben Zander).  

            He gave me the space and the encouragement to go forward into the unknown, take risks, make mistakes-- all the while contributing to the expanding sense of connecting and relating to the whole group.  Later, he told us how vital it was for a conductor to earn the trust of the players in the orchestra in order to be able to play well together.  One thing was clear to all of us present: by acknowledging and drawing forth the spirit and potential of each person in a team-- whether a professional orchestra, a group of colleagues, a teenage club, or former classmates wanting to go in a new direction together-- quality relationships and experiences have a chance to evolve and make a difference. 

            If you are interested in exploring further the possibilities for more work and life satisfaction by creating opportunities for quality connections, please join me for my upcoming tele-class, “Creating Life Satisfaction-- Giving an A to New Possibilities!” on Wednesday, December 8th.  To sign up, please click on the following link: