In my year of ‘letting-go’ in 2009 … here’s a quick anecdote from a workshop I facilitated this week.
I was confronted by a workshop participant who challenged the ‘core’ reason we had come together as a group. My plan, not surprisingly, didn’t prepare me for this … responding in the moment was all I could do.
I called on an Improv principle of ‘accepting offers’. The offering was ‘the challenge’ and I found it a struggle to ‘let-go’ of a strong urge to respond with an equally strong challenge of my own – that would have been easy for me and that’s how I started it.
To my rescue came another participant who declared that the ‘challenge’ was both worthy AND a surprise. He had less trouble ‘accepting the offer’ than I did. I then built on his lead and we had a group discussion about why we were here and trust.
On reflection, if I (and the group) had ‘blocked’ the participant’s challenge we wouldn’t have explored one of those ‘undiscussable’ topics that can fester beneath the surface. By accepting and acknowledging the offer we also turned a workshop ‘observer’ into a ‘participant’ … albeit a reluctant one.
Maybe next time I won’t need to rely on another participant to show me the way.