Ask, and you will be answered. Step out and you will be noticed. Do good things and good things will come back.
This is a message from this year’s annual European Brief Therapy Association Conference that was held in Vienna from 11th till 13th September. I was sent there with support from my English institution and my main supervisor. Just a couple of days prior to the conference I got an email from my Hungarian friends and coaches, inviting me to join a workshop on team coaching straight after the conference with one of the best coaches from Switzerland and Hungary. I was delighted and excited about both of these events and had it hard waiting to start.
My dear reader, which is your preferable: to be surprised or to make others surprised?
If I have to choose, I like the latter better. I love doing something for my significant others and enjoy planning it, keeping it a secret and at last, surprise them. It might be a small thing, or a big one, doesn’t matter, I quietly scream out of joy when I feel the passion that drags me to do it. So I dug up that my supervisor (and a dear friend) has birthday right after the conference. Since he’s a really modest and quiet man, but with a great mind, he didn’t say anything. We organized him a small surprise party and made a photo album for him. Though I had no idea what and how it will happen, the end has been what we hoped it would be: warm, supportive, loveable, friendly. Others who are close to him joined in this surprise and together we were able to do it just right. Happy bday C.!
Apart from this, I offered to give an open space at the conference. The proposed topic was transferring Solution Focused knowledge to the next generation. In case you are not familiar with open space, it is a very useful setting when you want to use the potential and creativity of your attendees. I use it all the time in my workshops and trainings. It has four principles and one law. The four principles go as follows:
- Whoever comes are the right people.
- Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happen.
- Whenever it starts is the right time.
- When it’s over, it’s over.
Additionally, there is the law of two feet, which means that if for any reason you feel you can’t contribute to the group of don’t get enough from it, use your two feet if you have them and go someplace else.
So I had my open space. Surprisingly many people came. I asked them to place on an imaginary scale to see where we are in terms of experience. It turned out the situation was about 50-50. I was amazed about how much willingness there was to offer support whenever and wherever needed and how it was a precious experience for both groups – they could both learn from each other! From this open space and talk over dinner, I am proudly to present my additional supervisor and many international partners. I’ll soon open another subpage and list their names and organizations, so that you can look them up if you’d like to see how big the international dimension is. Ribalon is growing!
One thing I’m not really proud of, but do it regularly, is that I always leave without notice. It’s a strange habit, because I’m really lousy at saying goodbye. So I left the conference without saying goodbye to anyone. In this manner, I believe, we are still somehow connected and when we meet again, it will be as if we never parted. So please forgive me my dear SF friends if I didn’t say goodbye – I never do. And it was not just rude to you – I do it to everybody. But now I miss you all …
Since Wednesday I’m back home. Vienna and Budapest have left a remarkable footprint. Apart from professional development, I’ve noticed one small thing that is different now. I’ve become much nicer to random people. Before I was reserved or didn’t pay much attention, but now I’ve become nicer and helpful to complete strangers. Simply because why not to be nice. And this makes a HUGE difference. Suddenly people around me have changed. Just today, as I went to the supermarket, a guy hit my car on the parking. My reaction was kind. I surprised myself totally. And like it a lot lot. A lot! My car might disapprove.
So let’s see where the road continues to lead us. Next Wednesday I’ll have a workshop in my hometown. I’m really curious about how the group will react within this new habit and setting … 🙂