Purpose Shared: Creating Sacred Space @ NCDD Annual Conference

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Changing the world one conversation at a time.


Craig joined 400+ intentional “cooleagues” at the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in Denver last month. He presented at the Showcase and convened an inspired Open Space breakout session on “How Do We Create Sacred Space in Dialogue & Deliberation?” with Salomeh Dastyari Diaz.

NCDD is a hub, facilitative leader & clearinghouse for a community of thousands of innovators. NCDD conferences are about having fun and enjoying the company of our field’s movers and shakers, as well as forming new partnerships, strategizing how we can tackle our field’s greatest challenges, showcasing some of the coolest arts, technologies, and methods for public engagement — and so much more.

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The workshops, presentations and Open Space breakout sessions all focused on how do we create opportunities to convene people in inclusive and creative ways, to nurture and support a world that works for all.

A report on the learnings from “How Do We Create Sacred Space in Dialogue & Deliberation?”: Salomeh and I knew the word “sacred” could be edgy. We asked: how do we talk about the areas of human contact and connection that bring in our whole selves? How do we describe the whole human experience beyond our intellectual and cognitive capacities?

The people who joined us were excited to have an essential conversation around how to create spaces of depth and affinity in any situation, knowing that creating containers of mutual trust and respect is one of the greatest challenges of our time. No matter our social, religious or spiritual foundation, we found a common sense of what the word sacred meant to us and why it matters as a reminder and expression of our core values and beliefs.

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Purpose Shared: Stringing the Beads

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Each human is viewed as a unique and beautiful bead.


Today we give thanks for dear friend and longtime collaborator Pele Rouge who introduced us to what has become a core practice in our lives and work. As a form of “Hearing All the Voices” the 6th Element of the Convening Wheel, Stringing the Beads is at once a sacred yet practical practice of joining people together in an authentic way. In our experience, it is the fastest way for people to reach connection and alignment, in what we call “The Arc of Recognition.”

By Pele Rouge

Why the name – Stringing the Beads?

Each human is viewed as a unique and beautiful bead.

As each person speaks, the talking piece goes around the circle and becomes the energetic “needle” carrying the thread of connection from person to person, “Stringing” the Beads together into a complete necklace and an energetic whole.

The talking piece and our words are the thread of connection that create the larger fabric, the “We”.

Much like a shuttle moves back and forth in a loom connecting/expanding/transforming the “independent” strings into a woven fabric that contains the beauty of each thread and creates a larger beauty.

Click here to read more.

Creative Commons License - Use with Acknowledgement of Pele Rouge and writing her at pelerouge@timelessearthwisdom.com
2018 Center for Timeless Earth Wisdom


Purpose Shared: The Art of Purposeful Leadership

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Purpose is an expression of your gifts, talents, values and passions.


By Patricia Neal

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On a chilly Minnesota day, it’s wonderful to recall the recent Fusion 2.0 Conference, hosted by Salveo Partners. The warmth and generosity of spirit made this conference a wonderful learning and sharing environment.  Craig Neal and I were honored to present "The Art of Purposeful Leadership," a Learning Lab.

We followed a keynote by high-energy Ondra Berry of MGM Grand. Jennifer Gilhoi gives an excellent recap of the day here: https://lnkd.in/eUK2g9R. Her comments about our session are below.

What did we learn? There are at least 2 languages of leadership: from the head and from the heart. The head needs to create order, quantify and measure; the heart needs and gives aspiration, inspiration and connection.

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The Art of Purposeful Leadership
In this session packed full of purposeful tools, Craig Neal, The Center for Purposeful Leadership, began with one simple idea: A purposeful leader is anyone who steps up to make a positive impact in the world. Craig and his wife and business partner, Patricia Neal, had a cadence to their sharing that made the experiences in this session delightful. In a U-shaped seating arrangement with a range of tactical items at our fingertips, the group practiced “stringing the beads,” where each person contributed their response to a prompt like what gets you excited to get out of bed every morning?

Beyond the straightforward response of, “an alarm clock,” each comment or bead, told a story about the person and at the end, a collective story of the group. Craig and Patricia walked us through The Napkin Test, by Richard Leider, an Art of Convening exercise to outline nine steps to thoughtful collaboration, and a Conversational Intelligence Assessment to rank ourselves and select one area to improve upon. 


If you’d like to explore more about The Art of Purposeful Leadership, join us for an upcoming Zoominar. Each Zoominar is an opportunity to explore together the why and how of bringing your purpose to shared action in the world. And finding a way towards committed and shared outcomes. [45-minute, live, interactive conversation + 15 minute Q&A]
Click here to register or contact Craig @ cneal@centerfpl.com


Purpose Shared: The Magic of Purpose Shared

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We look at convening as purpose shared.


By Patricia Neal

Craig and I are having a blast hosting Zoominars on The Magic of Purpose Shared and introducing a new model for Convening the Purposeful Path to Commitment.

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Purpose is an action verb.
Purpose alone is for the sake of what?
Convening alone is for the sake of what?
Convening is purpose shared.

At the heart of the matter of sharing your purpose is convening: the art and science of gathering and holding people in a safe and generative space, for the sake of authentic engagement, each time we invite people together, both virtually or in person.



Each Zoominar is an opportunity to explore together the why and how of bringing your purpose to shared action in the world. And finding a way towards committed and shared outcomes.


If you’d like to explore more about Whole Person Leadership, join us for an upcoming Zoominar on November 5
[45-minute Zoom + 15 minute Q&A]

Click here to register or contact Patricia @ pneal@centerfpl.com


Purpose Shared: Whole Person Leadership: Head, Heart, Body, Spirit

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"The main challenge we are facing in the 21st century is a very busy brain." -Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Chair of Mayo Mind Body Initiative


The 9/27/18 blog post featured the work of Dr. Sood. He notes that our brains and senses are inundated with information and demands that seem to take priority for what to pay attention to and how to act. But as human beings, and more importantly, as leaders, there is much more to be expressed as our authentic selves.

The six components of Whole Person Leadership—Purpose, Integrity, Presence, Resilience, Impact and Thriving—are key ingredients to success and fulfillment. These correlate with the concepts of trust/trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, physical well-being, spiritual expression, and professional expertise.

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Being a "whole" leader calls on every aspect of our selves. It calls us to find the courage to bring all of who we are into everything we do: the brilliant parts, the messy parts, the parts we hide and the traits we feel most proud of. It offers the opportunity to connect more deeply to our power of purpose and lead more authentically from a whole person perspective, calling on all our senses and sensibilities.

Whole Person Leadership is built on your own personal values and life experiences, as well as understanding your strengths and growth points, hopes and aspirations. A focus on discovery of purpose and how to share our purpose is a great place to begin. Purpose is always about being is service to something larger than yourself: what gets you up in the morning and sustains you through the day? the week? the tough times?

What comes to mind as you think of all of what you have to offer? What does your head say? your heart? your spirit? Is anything missing?

The faculty of Whole Person Leadership for Women is hosting 2 Zoominars on Whole Person Leadership. We’d love your input and ideas.

If you’d like to explore more about Whole Person Leadership, join us for an upcoming Zoominar on October 17 or November 2
[45-minute Zoom + 15 minute Q&A]

Click here to register or contact Patricia @ pneal@centerfpl.com



Purpose Shared: Gratitude: How to quiet your brain

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"The main challenge we are facing in the 21st century is a very busy brain. ..."


We are repurposing this blog post from 2013. It is still pertinent today, possibly more than ever. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/12/23/daily-circuit-holiday-stress?from=dc

I loved this interview. Dr. Sood speaks to the power of gratitude.

Mayo Clinic stress expert Dr. Amit Sood joins The Daily Circuit to discuss the steps he recommends to lower stress and enjoy the holidays. Sood's upcoming book is "The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living."

• "The main challenge we are facing in the 21st century is a very busy brain. We're all overextended. I'm sure you have more than 20 passwords. You have perhaps a dozen or more bills to pay. Our ancestors didn't have that."

• "The three most important things in holidays are relationships, relationships and relationships. Binge on quality time with your loved ones.... Don't fall off the wellness and budget bandwagon. And do something to honor the tradition. This is a time of hope. This is a time of forgiveness. This is a time of gratitude. Be extra kind to yourself."


Purpose Shared: CPL Fall Presentations

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Purposeful Leadership is purpose shared. We are sharing the Center for Purposeful Leadership message* at these great programs and conferences this fall.

*Our Vision: A Purposeful Leader in every organization creating thriving cultures of purpose, trust, respect and collaboration.



A Journey of Purpose, Renewal & Thriving for Women
October 2018-March 2019

Patricia Neal with Vivian Jenkins Nelsen, Kimberly Kristenson-Lee, Lynn Nelson, and Claudia Eisinger welcome women leaders from across the country to participate in this unique program.

Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators
November 2-4, 2018

At the upcoming NCDD Conference Craig Neal will be participating in the D&D Showcase focusing on Healing the Divide.


The Art of Purposeful Leadership: Trust and Leadership
December 4-6, 2018

On 12/4 Patricia Neal and Vivian Jenkins Nelsen will co-convene a potent afternoon workshop.

A Purposeful Gathering of Humanity
November 7-9, 2018

At the upcoming Fusion 2.0 Conference in Minneapolis, Craig Neal will convene a Learning Lab: The Art of Purposeful Leadership: The Future Leader.


Purpose Shared: A Life's Purpose Realized: 1963-2013 to 2018

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"I knew my life would be forever changed. I hadn't bargained on transformation in its very essence."


 

5 years ago, my letter was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Today, more than ever, there is a need to call our purpose into action. May Dr. King's life be a powerful inspiration to express the purposeful leader in each of us. This day 55 years ago is a constant reminder of why I do what I do. 
Your reflections and comments are welcome.


Letter of the Day (Aug. 27, 2013): On the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

I was a 17-year-old self-proclaimed “jock” from suburban New Jersey when a friend asked me to join her synagogue on a civil-rights march in Washington. With parental support, I ventured forth.

Our bus arrived early, so I walked along the reflecting pool to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I witnessed the preparations and eventually the speakers and singers, and ultimately saw the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver the “I have a Dream” speech.

Separated from my group and hemmed into place by the crowd on the steps, I knew my life would be forever changed. I hadn’t bargained for transformation in its very essence.

As King spoke, I turned away to the watch the sea of people spreading across the mall and beyond, and I fixated on a man in a black suit, black tie and hat with a sign that I believe said “We Shall Overcome.”

My lasting impression was this man and others dressed in their elegant best, with tears streaming down their faces, smiling and saying “amen” after each phrase. I knew at that moment that my life’s work would be for the sake of service to a dream of a better world.

CRAIG NEAL, Minneapolis

The writer is cofounder of Heartland Inc., a social enterprise organization, and is a former publisher of Utne Reader magazine.


Virtual Collaboration and Convening: 2 New AoC Trainings

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"Virtual collaboration is fast becoming the norm. Are you ready?" (Harvard Business Review, 04/24/18).

Whether you are leading a virtual collaboration or a weekly team meeting, an Art of Convening Training adds a powerful skill set to any facilitation or gathering.

Explore the art, science and application of convening and purpose practices to transform the way people meet and gather.

CONVENING POWERFUL VIRTUAL MEETINGS

CORE ART OF CONVENING TRAINING

Jul 11, 25, Aug 8, 22, Sep 5                              Sep 12, 28, Oct 10, 24, Nov 7, 21, Dec 5

8:00am-9:30am Central US                               7:00pm-9:00pm Central US  

$199 by 5/15/18                                              $595 early bird by 7/15/18

2 payments of $100                                          6 payments of $100

LEARN MORE/REGISTER


The Purposeful Warrior: A Conversation with Meg Wheatley

Who Do We Choose to Be?
Leadership and the New Science

Meg Wheatley has been a seminal influence on CPL since the publishing of her book, 'Leadership and the New Science', followed in 2002 by 'Turning to One Another'.

As a Conversation Starter at our Thought Leader Gatherings, Meg brought a provocative yet compassionate message on leadership. In addition, her books were foundational texts for early Art of Convening Training's.

This interview allowed us to catch up on her new book, 

Who Do We Choose To Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity. 

We saw it as an opportunity to bring together our work on activating purpose, as purpose shared, and her work "to reclaim leadership as a noble profession that creates possibility and humaneness in the midst of increasing fear and turmoil."

In a time of unprecedented volatility and disruption, Meg's fierce commitment to defining the new warrior as present and compassionate is what is needed today. It was a thrill and honor to be with Meg again.

 [Click to Watch Full Interview]

[Click to Watch Full Interview]


Craig on tough situations when convening/hosting a meeting!

 Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

During a recent Art of Convening Training, some potent questions about convening skill and strategy were asked. In this video, Craig addresses some of them. (some are listed below)

Craig Neal

<•> When leading a work meeting, if there is an argument or discussion that has not been resolved, should we allow time for further discussion to have a harvest or find inspiration or follow the agreed upon timeline?

<•> What if I’m not leading/hosting/convening? (I'm just a participant)

<•> When leading a work meeting or conference, if participants start arguing or loudly disagreeing, what shall I do?  How do I keep inner calm and access my true power?

<•> Would you share some examples of how to respond when people challenge you during your convening?

Let us know your thoughts!


Purpose Shared: Igniting a Purpose Revolution

 Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton


"There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is..."


I first got to know John Izzo in a tent on safari in Tanzania. Our 3-week journey led us to one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa. Our leader was none other than our mutual mentor, Richard Leider, the "Pope of Purpose." John had already established himself as a global leadership author, speaker, and consultant. Little did I know that 11 years later CPL and John would be joining Richard in a global purpose movement, and John would write a defining book called The Purpose Revolution.  - Craig

The Purpose Gap

Dr. John Izzo

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What is the Purpose Gap? It is both an opportunity and threat in the business world today. It exists because there a distinct difference between what people desire and hope for, and what is actually being delivered by businesses and organizations. Today a purpose gap exists for both employees and customers.

Seventy seven percent of employees say there is matters a great deal to work for a company they believe in and a job where they have a sense of purpose. Fifty percent of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for the right company, and almost forty percent cite purpose as the main driver of their engagement and retention at work. Yet the vast majority of people, 75%, say that they don’t work for this type of company- that the company they work for mostly cares about profit and its own self-interest. Therein lies the purpose gap for employees.

Customers around the world are asking for more purpose than companies are delivering. Eighty percent of customers globally want to buy from companies that they believe are doing a good job in the world. Yet they feel confident that only 6% of the companies they do business with are actually good. In other words, they have a deep desire to buy good, but have no idea if the companies that serve them are good or not.  There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is, and what positive good it achieves.

My co-author Jeff Vanderwielen and I talk in The Purpose Revolution about how companies who close the purpose gap are going to

be the real winners. As employees and customers, we want more. The companies who listen and really deliver are going to be the ones we choose to work for and buy from. The Purpose Revolution is here. Are you ready?

Watch my Izzo on Purpose video to find out more about The Purpose Gap.

More here: https://drjohnizzo.com/purpose-blog/purpose-revolution/the-purpose-gap/


Craig Neal @ Fusion 2.0 Conference: Leading a Learning Lab

 Photo Credit:  Fusion2conference.com

Photo Credit: Fusion2conference.com


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Exciting news!

Craig Neal will be leading a Learning Lab @ the Fusion 2.0 Conference

The Art of Purposeful Leadership: The Future Leader

Wednesday

11/7/2018, 11:20 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

Get registered to join him! group rates are now available. Bring your teams. For the best rate, register now while the preview rate is still in effect. 

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Great Meetings - The Recipe: Part 2

 PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton

PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton


Any convened meeting, gathering or even a conversation has at its core practical ingredients or “principles” that are essential to the creation of a safe and generative engagement leading to powerful outcomes that engage everyone.

As the convener, you have the unique role of creating the recipe then to lead or facilitate people through the engagement AND to introduce the essential ingredients that will inform and assist in achieving the desired outcomes.

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Any great meeting like a recipe only uses the best ingredients:

Starting with positive intent, the convener approaches each engagement as an opportunity to create possibilities. Suspending certainty allows for what we don't know to come alive.  We then listen for the wisdom in each voice and understand that slowing down the conversation will allow the spaces for creativity and innovation to occur. By hearing all the voices and perspectives we invite diversity and inclusion into the conversation. Then by looking for new ways of thinking and being, we are open to surprises and to new possibilities.


Great Meetings - The Recipe: Part 1

 Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


The Convening Method is much like baking a cake. Purpose is the flour, convening is the yeast. Convening activates purpose. The ingredients, all added at the right time, consciously tended in a step-by-step manner, can be successful time after time.

The recipe for convening transformational meetings follows a path:

  1. Start with a clear purpose and success factors. A two-sentence statement will do.
  2. Your agenda comes next. It will embody your purpose along with what you are to do together to reach your success factors or intent.
  3. Your invitation simply outlines what you are to do together that integrates purpose and intent.
  4. Giving thought and consideration to the space in which you meet is often neglected. Think what would stimulate and enliven the attendees beyond all the necessary materials.
  5. In creating safe spaces for authentic engagements remember the cultural norms and what agreements you wish to have to allow people to settle in and feel safe.
  6. Once in the meeting, how many times and how many ways can all the voices be heard to allow the opportunity for full participation?
  7. Essential conversation is the result of the preparation you have put into the first 5 steps of the recipe. Here we are aware of mood and level of connection each has for engaging in the agenda. Has the space been created for mutual trust and respect?
  8. Calling for a commitment to action brings clarity to what has been agreed to. A commitment to action invites responsibility, accountability, and commitment to an individual and collective way forward.
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In Part 1 we gave you the recipe or the method. In Part 2, next week, the yummy ingredients!


3 Most Common Convening Questions (when the meeting goes off the rails)

 PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton

PHoto Credit: Daniel Scotton


The consistent themes for why people enroll in the Art of Convening trainings:

  • their meetings, retreats and even conversations are totally not working,
  • or
  • they realize things could be a whole lot better, better efficiency, better buy-in, aligned outcomes.

1. The #1 common question is “How do I handle the person who dominates the meeting?” or “the non-stop talker” or “the bully.”

2. A 2nd common question is: “How can I make a difference if I’m not leading the meeting?”

3. The 3rd most common question: “How do I get people engaged to participate in the meeting and get aligned? When we walk out the door, the real meeting begins in the hallway.”

Click here to read how Bob successfully addressed some of these questions in his organization:  http://conta.cc/2EqHA4R

We will offer our learnings in future posts.


Five Most Common Convening Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

 Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal


"Convening is about being open to relationship rather than closed. It is a challenge to choose to stay connected and open when our lives and schedules are full and our time is precious."


By Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Craig and Patricia Neal have been organizing gatherings and meetings for decades across the nation and have a pretty solid idea of what works and what doesn't. However, even seasoned conveners still make mistakes when bringing people together or forget what really matters.

In this entry, Patricia and Craig list the Five Most Common Convening Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them):

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1. Not "Staying Connected": Convening is about being open to relationship rather than closed. It is a challenge to choose to stay connected and open when our lives and schedules are full and our time is precious. Stay connected by knowing who you are and how you want to be in relationship with others. You always have a choice when you walk into a meeting: do you want to be connected, or stay closed? Choosing connection can lead to collaboration, creativity, purposeful outcomes.

2. Fearing Rejection: The fear of rejection can derail our ability to extend a wholehearted and sincere invitation. Invite often - for all kinds of things - and experience acceptance and rejection as others’ freedom to choose rather than a personal success or failure. We often think that colleagues are too busy to talk beyond the cursory business at hand, but when we persevere, people are grateful for the opportunity to catch up and reconnect. Our fear of rejection, rather than rejection itself, was holding us back.

3. Making Assumptions: We say “assume and doom.” When we assume others know what a gathering’s all about, we put our gathering squarely in the realm of the unknown. Make the purpose and desired activity for a gathering as clear and explicit as possible - even if it seems unnecessary. At one important meeting, knowing we had only an hour, we jumped right into the action items. We neglected to set the context, assuming we were all on the same page. At the end of the meeting, people had different understandings of the purpose of the meeting and were not aligned in a commitment to action.

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4. Reluctance to Impose Our Will on Others: “You’re not the boss of me!” How often have we said or heard words like that? But providing structure, environment and terms of engagement is a crucial part of convening. People need structure. If there is no structure, people look to create it. At a recent family gathering, we felt we should not be too controlling, but this led to a lack of clarity in stating the terms of engagement or agreements for a discussion. Everyone jumped in, in their own way, with cross-chatter and began talking over one another. It would have been better to state our expectations ahead of time to enable all people to be heard.

5. Impatience and Judgment: The compelling desire to “Just get on with it!” can rush us obliviously past the most important pieces of wisdom and capability present in our gathering. Remember, anyone included is equally important and essential. At the beginning of most meetings we do a check-in to hear from everyone. This one time we were 15 minutes late. we suggested we skip the check-in and move right into the agenda. Halfway through the meeting we realized we didn’t have everyone’s attention and didn’t have the necessary alignment to make important decisions we were there to make.

There are actually four other scenarios that generate obstacles for effective convening but we chose the five most common. What do you think? Did we choose the five most common? Do you have any feedback or ideas for us?

Stay tuned for the next article on 5 Things that Work and Matter.