Prepare to Be Amazed!

The EFBC launched a new weekly meetup called Ted Talk Tuesday (thanks to the team at Interra Global for the idea). The first one featured “10 ways to have a better conversation” by Celeste Headlee.

My first “aha moment” was that many of the rules are ones we are given an opportunity to practice when following forum protocols.

  1. Don’t multitask. No phones, no notes, no noise. Forum meetings take place in a private dining room engineered to reduce the odds of multitasking. Meetings take place at the end of the day to prevent thinking about what is next, other than getting home safely.
  2. Use open-ended questions: who, what, when, where, or how. These are clarifying questions.
  3. Go with the flow which she describes as let thoughts come and go. To me, this was learning to let questions and thoughts go when someone is presenting. I know I am a better listener today because I follow the no note rule in forum (most of the time - still a work in progress 😊).
  4. If you don’t know, say you don’t know. This reminds me of those in Forum saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t have a shared experience.”
  5. Listen. Headlee describes this as the most important skill for better conversations.
  6. Be brief. Forum has a clear agenda with an enforced start and end time.

“…I keep my mouth shut as often as I possibly can, I keep my mind open, and I am always prepared to be amazed and I am never disappointed…” - Celeste Headlee

A day or two later came my second “aha moment.” Forum allows us to practice accountability and our commitment to listening. We’re expected to listen closely enough to know when protocol is broken and to tap a glass. This is the skill I struggle with the most. I believe in karma -- Maybe if I step up and tap the glass every time, others will do the same in return. We’ll all become better listeners this way.

I am grateful that our forum has found ways to safely meet through COVID. I appreciate every opportunity to listen, be heard, tap a glass, and to get feedback when someone taps a glass for me.

The Ted Talk Tuesday event was a welcome breath of fresh air. I was able to converse with open-minded, continuous learners in a casual virtual environment. I was amazed by my new mindset for the rest of the week. Thank you EFBC, Interra Global and Celeste Headlee. Hope to see you at the next Ted Talk Tuesday!


Nirel Inman

Nirel Inman
Co-President, Chicago Glue & Machine
EFBC President 2020-2021

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