Monday, 30 April 2012

The Tour- Day 2

Day two of the tour took us to Peterborough, Ontario. I got there late as I relied on a GPS and it took me SE of Peterborough. Just so you know, I was coming NW from Peterborough... so a bit of a mix up there.

This was a big day for me as we got some one on one mentoring from Mark. It really hit a cord for me... I won't get into it here though, but I really wanted to get out of my chair and leave the room. It was that powerful. And from then on, something changed in me, something that was great. However I have to admit, I was glad when the mentoring session was over and I got to go pick up my niece and head over to the talk location.

What a treat it was to have my niece and my God-Daughter there. I hadn't seen her in quite a while. She joined us as we prepared for the talk and assign roles to everyone for the night. As my niece was looking out the window, a little yellow and black bird landed at the bird feeder.

Now keep in mind, one of the core routines that I have been practicing for the past year is the Art of Questioning. A mentoring routine I love doing with people where you do not give the answer right away. Anyone who knows me will know that I do not give answers right away. Sometime I will but not often.

So here I was, with my young niece, asking her questions about what she is seeing, colour of the bird, what kind of beak does it have, does it have an eye ring, can you hear its song? etc etc.... after she answers the questions, she answers.... "it's a golden finch!" The look she had was of excitement and a proud moment as she got to discover this bird on her own (with some questions from me).

And that was the message that was weaved through the talk for the night... well there were many strands, but the Art of Questioning is the one that really stuck out to me. And one I keep getting better at when I practice it.

Mark told a story of a woman who had attended a talk with him and she must have been straight from her work, because she had her power suit on, her power heels and even her power hair was done. When she picked up an item off the nature museum table, she turned to Mark and asked "What is it?" Most would have answered.... "it's an .....",  But Mark didn't. He asked her permission to take her on a discover journey with this item. And I will let you decide which one makes a bigger impact.

Here is how the conversation went:

First Mark puts it in her hand and asks her
"feel it, move it around in your hand" 
"what do you see on the surface of it?

She puts it in her hand
"it is hard and bumpy, oh look, it has fissures on the surface and wow, it is hard, like a nut. Oh and it has brown stuff that comes off it" rubs the dirt off her clean hand.

Mark: "smell it, what does it smell like?"
Woman: takes it up to her nose "oh, it smells nice... it smells like... sniff... it smells like.....sniff... oh you know... can't put my finger on it."

Mark: "Let's break it and see what happens, go take that stone over there and smash it"
The woman walks over picks up a big rock that was on the table, raises it above her head and throws it down... CRASH!!!!!!! It breaks into a million pieces.
Woman: "Wow, it has tiny pieces and they are sharp dark dirt pieces and some lighter pieces."
Mark: "Taste it!"
Woman: she stops there, not really sure if she should taste it or not
Mark: "ok, I'll taste the first one then" he takes a bite "mmmmmm"
Woman: takes a bite.... "it's a walnut!"

Mark didn't stop there, he then walked to the table and grabbed another one and asked her, "So if I had answered you the first time with the answer... this is how the discovery would have gone....

Ok, ask me the question again:
Woman: "What is it?"
Mark: "It's a Walnut"

(pause- long pause)

So let me ask you... which one has the most discovery?  Next time someone, especially a child, asked you what something is, go down a discovery journey with them, and together explore the wonders of the mystery as if you are seeing it for the first time. It is much more powerful.

Would love to hear how it goes. Share your stories.

You may be interested in these links
5 Day Tour - Day 1
5 Day Tour - Day3