My friend and colleague, Tuesday Ryan Hart, recently wrote what is copied below in an email back and forth around a design. I thought it was brilliant so wanted to post it to my blog. I find that how we open and frame our events/meetings and work is crucial to setting the tone for what will follow. It is like the first notes of a song … they define the rest of tune. Here's what Tuesday said, I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this too ...
"I find my attention drawn to what we've learned here about opening (and continuing) high level work. We've found that this initial framing is crucial to not only setting the tone of the gathering but also supporting people to locate themselves and their work in the purpose of the event at the outset so that they can access the rest of the gathering.
- It is essential to speak from the heart in these initial framings, yes, but also to speak a strategic invitation into the event.
- This strategic invitation can help address known tensions, doubt, and cynicism in the room right at the beginning as something present and workable. (and needed)
- It can underscore the hopes, aspirations, and hard work already done...let folks know they're not building from scratch and supports momentum.
- It absolutely needs to underscore the strategic nature of the work you're embarking on.
I often say we have to be heartfelt and also super smart in our openings. To say not only what we want to say from our hearts, but to say - with integrity - that which will invite folks deeply into the work from where they are. This helps them enter something that can be fundamentally different from what they're used to."