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Kindness as an Essential Support for Strategic Planning

being my best self beyond war caring co-creation gratitude kindness listening respect Jul 01, 2007

“Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.”
........Mahatma Gandhi

Flying home yesterday from Melbourne, I pondered on the weekend just gone. After arriving at Melbourne airport last Friday evening, my instruction had been to take the strategic planning sub-committee of the national board through a strategic planning exercise in one day!

Lots of preparation including extensive listening had given all participants  as well as me a good insight into where they had been and where they wished to go. However, the group had a history of undermining and not achieving their objectives …

As I prepared myself for the day I put myself in their shoes, but with the vision of completing the exercise in one day. I planned out a range of exercises, far more than we would need but enough that I went in feeling that I had enough to shift with the group's choices and progress. And between each exercise, I would kindly but firmly bring them back to their objective for the day.

The day flowed well as each participant shared his or her vision of where the organisation should go. I made sure that everyone had a say, kindly but firmly giving everyone the space to voice their thoughts and wishes. There was surprising consensus, even as I encouraged them to keep moving. One of the "rules" of the day were that no disparaging comments were allowed, another was to listen to each person until they had finished speaking. Kindly but firmly supporting them all to rise to their best and kindest selves, even those with a history of negative behaviour in the group, they all surprised themselves by achieving this.

And they achieved their day's objective, discovering the sheer enjoyment of co-creation along the way!

On time!

I was so privileged to experience this group's joy and surprise that they could behave like this, and achieve like this. It just goes to show that treating them all with respect and kindness, from the first time they were contacted to the end of the planning day, demonstrated to them to treat each other in the same way and achieve the results they were looking for.

They had done it all, had faith in their best selves and been well rewarded­čśŐ

Wendy

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