During the first weekend of June 2019, I went to my annual favorite gathering, the Agile Coach Camp Canada in Cornwall, Ontario, and to honor our yearly coach camp carpooling tradition, my friend Omar Bermudez and I shared the route to Camp together, this time with the beautiful company of Erwan Le Cren and Laurence Brablin.
Once at Cornwall and we finished eating lunch, I invited them to experience the power of Liberating Structures to help us debrief our trip together using one of my favorites LS micro-structures What, So What, Now What
Here is a summary of what happened:
- We were just seating around a round table. Then I explained pretty quick the three stages of the microstructure to help my friend have a better understanding of the way we were about to debrief.
To help us start the conversation and answer to the “What”, I used the following question :
- What happened during our trip together that stood out for you?
Individually (1 minute)
Each of us took a minute or less, to think about our trip and reflect in silence about what happened.
Share our thoughts with the group (5 – 7 minutes)
Once we ended up with our individual reflexions, I asked who wanted to share its thoughts first, and Laurence jumped in. Then we all did the same until the four us ended up sharing.
Note: Something that stood out at this stage of the conversation was how actively we were listening to each other, and something magical about us connecting to each others soul started to happen.
For the second stage of the exercise “So What”, I invited my friends to take a moment to individually answer the question:
- What are the three must important personal values that emerged when thinking about these facts and why?
Individually (2 minutes)
When I asked this question, something shifted inside each one of us. The conversation and the connection we were having, went to a different place.
I saw my friends smiling from inside, and I felt joy and a deep state of relaxation and calmness that was deep.
Share with the whole group (10 minutes)
We went for a ten minutes debrief sharing about personal values like “Connection, Curiosity, Trust” and how that carpooling experience was important for each of us.
Note: I could see that sparkle on the eye of my friends shining when talking about their personal values and I can tell I felt really connected to them at that moment.
For the Third stage of the exercise “Now What”, and to finish with this microstructure, I asked my friend to reflect upon the question
- “Now, What actions make sense?
And the common answer was, that we wanted more of it and that we will try to live that kind of connections during the weekend ahead of us at Agile Coach Camp Canada 10th anniversary.
My humble interpretation would be, that we wanted more of that humanity that was liberated by this micro-structure and the openness we all had to share and deeply embrace love.
What was liberated?
I felt that what we got really connected when doing the exercise, especially once we talked about our personal values. It was a beautiful and touching experience that I would love to live again and again.
What would I do next time?
I would keep forgetting about constraining LS to time boxes. I feel that the magic happened once we were just focusing on the present to be there and listen to each others stories.
Call to action
Did you find what I wrote appealing and want to see more? Would you like to experience what Liberating Structures look like?
Here some options that I have prepared for you to keep us growing together:
- Join my upcoming Liberating Structures Half Day Workshop.
- Help me be at my best by providing me with constructive feedback.
- Support my writing by: getting a copy of my book Forming Agile Teams, encourage me to start writing the second workbook of the Agile teams from forming to performing series called “Storming Agile Teams” or get a copy of one of minibooks (Lift off Agile Teams – The team’s transformation process or Agile Teams – Improvement tools and exercises)
- Share and discuss this post with your colleagues and friends.
- Be good with yourself, your people and smile 😃 to the world 🌎.
All the best,