Permission to think
I’ve taken myself away from the learning space to script some thoughts about the Social Age Safari….
why am I here, what have I gotten from it…more importantly what have I given to it..
Why am I here…
You may know my story or parts of it, its not hard to find as most of it is written here on medium or just do a quick ‘Google’ search for my name and ‘cancer’. Yes that awful word that makes your heart sink when you hear it…well I’m a survivor, not in the way you would normally think, but as one half of a double act.
Why is this important to this story – what you may not know is the ‘Sea Salt Family’ offered me a lifeline – a place to be me, explore learning (how it should be), embrace uncertainty, deal with confusion as if its part of life not something done on to life, see adaption as an evolution not a revolution.
For 365 days the sea salt crew have continued to offer the hand of help, the gesture and action of kindness, the challenge of thought, the cradle of support with the provocation of disturbance all with true intention. With a full appreciation for my world but without highlighting this or making this obvious to me or others. A compassionate learning friend or collective that have gone for helping strangers to connected individuals transcending the need to have a 20 year history to embrace the same level of kinship.
So why am I here again…its a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage I recommend you all take at least once in your ‘Learning & Development’ life if you want an experience and not a conference. If you want to learn where the person next to you is learning with you as a partner in your journey. You come not to network but to ‘meet’ people. Bond with people, bond in learning, bond in confusion, bond in uncertainty, bond in journeying toward comfort with what you do and dont know…
The crew create an environment where this is not only a normal act, its celebrated. Not through cheers and overzealous handshakes but in the pleasures of reciprocity and the investment of others to you and your challenges in smoothing a path to your destination. A place where you ‘listen to hear' peoples stories, and your stories are heard, accepted and re-shared, shared and presented back in new ways with new lenses.
What have I gotten…(sorry English teachers)
A series of learning points…
- Give yourself permission to move and flow in and out of the learning space. You are not strapped to your chair so don’t feel you can’t leave it. Be free to move…
- Invest in connecting the cognitive surplus within your teams. There is waist in energy, time and effort, take time to look for and notice this.
- Don’t fear the trust conversation for fear of the response, if we do or don’t trust is not as important as acknowledging this and then working toward trust.
- Technology may well connect us but is not the connection, we are, when we meet and share our stores. Technology is but a medium for sharing.
- In building trust, connections and at times a new beginning it is helpful to share a ‘searching and fearless inventory of ourselves’ with another who will support our progress and help us remain on track.
- Traditions and rituals are important elements of what we do, who we are and the cultures we perpetuate.
- If learning is just entertaining its failing, learning must be more.
- Finally If its the taking part that counts what and when are we giving…it may be more important to consider ‘giving parts’ than ‘taking parts'
What have I given…
Others will be the judge of that, but perhaps this is part of my offering…
A closing thought
This is not a conference, its an experience.