Reset as needed.
Interesting how Roxie has helped remind me of a basic premise. One that I used again this past week facilitating an onboarding workshop for new faculty. The truism: When we tackle issues or challenges, we do well to slow down and consider what is in front of us before we jump to conclusions. Consider this example I learned as Roxie and I have developed into a working team.
During our daily walks, Roxie and I meet up with old friends and discover new ones. The comment I often hear when people first meet Roxie is, “What a well-behaved dog, she is!”
As she sits beside me looking at the person and/or canine companion, I am struck by how many people think such a simple task is such a big deal. But then, when we look around at some other dogs and their people, I can see from whence their surprise emanates.
Don’t get me wrong. Roxie can pull at the leash a little harder than she should. Or get focused on something (like breaking news alerts in the pee-mail she reads along the way) and tune me out. But, generally, she knows what to do. And she does it. The discipline comes from constant rehearsal of strategies we learned in our puppy obedience and Canine Good Citizen classes. When Roxie needs a “refresher,” we stop what we are doing and reset. We make sure we are both on the same page about what we need to do. Then we do it.
At times, workshops (for humans) can be challenging. Especially if the people in front of the room believe they must firehose the audience with every bit of minutiae they know. I have found that interaction is best. Like Roxie and me. While I might lead, I have to remember that if I lose her attention, neither of us is going to go anywhere fast.
At the beginning of the faculty workshop, I set a four-step guide for our day’s journey:
- READ. They had read assigned classroom scenarios prior to our workshop. These would serve as the focal point for our deliberative conversations.
- REFLECT. Prior to discussion about a scenario, we took a few moments to review our notes. What did we read? What did we learn? What questions or suggestions did we have?
- RESPOND. Then we opened the floor for our deliberative discussion. Meaningful give and take about the targeted issues.
- REPEAT. Once the discussion was concluded, we would reset ourselves, clear the air of any last-minute thoughts or questions, and then we moved on to the next scenario.
Simple process that can have implications beyond an employee workshop or walk with your canine companion.
When appropriate, stop. Reflect on what you are doing and need to do. Reset as needed. Proceed.
Video Recommendation for the week.
In order to reset, we must first recognize the need to do so. That requires reflection. We have to read the situation at hand and be aware of assumptions we might making and how they might derail us.
This brief video from a stage presentation reminds us of the importance to hit the reset button as needed. Then move forward. Then repeat.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
Take a moment and read Roxie’s blog (roxiemovingthebiscuithome.wordpress.com). Roxie is my pet therapy partner–a four and one-half year-old rescue dog. On her blog she woofs about life and purpose from the perspective of a dog. She is quite insightful. It might help you HTRB. (Woof!)
My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I will be conducting (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®