Forests and Trees
Happy July! Time to breathe. Time to sit in silence. Hear the surf. Hear the birds. Still oneself. And just be. Being hasn't received a lot of space in my life but it has been ever more present and appreciated. Because adding more 'being' helps me go macro.
By way of defining the landscape, for me, macro is the 'forest'; micro is the 'trees.' The forest has captured my attention lately and it has been refreshing! Surprising. Life giving. As a 'go to' view, I normally look through the trees. Implementation? I am your gal. Figuring out how many minutes an activity will take in a workshop? I am there. Getting the logistical 'to do' list together? Count me in. I am known as a detail person. Maps, time frames, schedules? I got your back. Specifics are my thing. They are a strength.
But to really embody my goal to care big, I need to go macro. Last week in a session on coaching, a nurse said, "You care. What about?" I responded, "About many things. Give me the topic and I will tell you why it is important to care about it." In this context, I was working with hospital personnel on coaching skills. I could tell each one of them why they made a difference and how their peer coaching work could help others be the best at whatever they do; environmental services, admissions, patient billing, nurses, diabetes education, IT. Each person contributes to the whole of a patient's care.
In Columbus, OH, I went 'forest' during my workshop on active participation. Beyond knowing student engagement is great for the dendrites, what else are we doing by having students speak and write and work together? How about this for an answer?
"If we expect our youth to become adults who exercise reflective judgment, [take] responsibility for themselves and their community, and...take part in shaping their country ......then the environment in which they are schooled must teach them how to do that – it must give them practice in real responsibility, real dialogue and real authority." - Scott Nine – Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Education in America quoted in Parker Palmer's Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. That's a macro view in my book.
At the end of the month I am going to work with speech language therapists on the importance of finding their voice and their need to share their expertise in possibly new and bolder ways back at their school sites so "effective communication is accessible and achievable for all." In August, lead mentors and I will work together as they look ahead to orientation and how they will express to their new teachers the relevance and value of reflection and collaboration.
In my life I am sensing a pattern ...
While some might groan at meetings where building vision and stating a mission are the work, for me, going macro provides inspiration, empowerment, vitality, dynamism, energy, spirit and connection to the Work with a capital 'W.' Here's to sunny days with time to go macro. Enjoy the view.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at Jennifer@jenniferabrams.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
I am slowing down and breathing deeply but still had time to see a few fun things on the web this month.
"Click Here for an Offbeat Experience" – NYTimes.com
How would you like to chat with a musician? Fish with a mayor? Or dine with a king? New Web sites are helping travelers think far beyond the standard itinerary.
"There's No Right Way to Live" - Robert Fritz's latest newsletter
Excerpt: "From the time we were infants, we were told that there is a "right" way to live your life. Therefore, your job is to find that right way. Everyone has an opinion about how you should live. Some think you should pursue spiritual growth, personal development, and perfect yourself. Some think you should get involved with acts of kindness. Some think you should save the world, or have the right politics, or adopt the right belief. We have been sold a bill of goods."
The 5 Book: Where will you be five years from today? – Dan Zadra
"The next five years can be the most exciting and satisfying years of your life—or just another five years. Let the 5 book be your guide. Graduating from college? Considering a new career? Inspiring your sales or service teams? Setting goals for retirement? Here's your inspiration. The 5 book is your playbook for life. It features thought-provoking quotations and real-life examples to serve as both a spark and a road map for what's exciting in your life."
Each month I will share with you information about a few of my upcoming trainings.
If I am going to be in your area, contact me so we can say hello, hopefully in person!
Finding Your Voice Around What Matters Most
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Having Hard Conversations
Mentoring for Impact Symposium
Duval County Public Schools
Go Macro, Go Micro – A Visioning and Planning Session
Lead Mentor Retreat and Planning Session
Orange County Office of Education
Costa Mesa, CA
Having Hard Conversations
Principals Opening of School Retreat
Detroit Public Schools
For additional upcoming events, please visit my Web site.
Until next time,
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleague. You may reprint this newsletter in whole or quote with attribution to Jennifer Abrams and a link to www.jenniferabrams.com