In a webinar I had the opportunity to attend I was listening to the presenter sharing her ideas on the relationship between mentoring and learning. While the information I received was interesting, I’ve been ever since wondering about the setup.
I was reminded of this while reading an article by Peter Block where he questions the thinking used to organize meetings and states “We hold on to the belief that change happens as a result of a leaders’ actions rather than as a result of engagement and grass root accountability.”
In the webinar, while getting ready, the person presenting was focused on the technical details of her presentation. This is quite natural and in good intent, however, it related well to how that webinar was organized around “who is going to speak” and “what are they going to say?” She was persuaded that her lecturing was the best way to relate to her audience. Learning was to happen through her leadership. It corresponded to the content she shared.
However, her motivation was to empower the audience, create participation and invite accountability.
It made the questions Peter Block suggest more accessible:
- How are we going to engage the audience?
- What kind of room would be appropriate for your purpose?
- How are you going to assess how it is going?
As he says, “Transformation is as much a shift in consciousness, a shift in feeling, a change in relationship, as it is a shift in thinking and practice.”
It doesn’t make the other questions useless; we still need to know what is going to be said and who is going to speak, but maybe it isn’t the priority we should focus on. Especially when a speaker and a topic have been chosen.