Sometimes You Have to Throw Away the Script

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Sometimes You Have to Throw Away the Script

Recently, I was co-leading the final workshop of a six-month project for the managing board of a local company. The curriculum had taken weeks of hard work to refine and the result was a brilliant design. During a break, the CEO quietly talked with us about where we were headed for the afternoon. We all looked at each other and knew what we needed to do... we had to toss our script and dance in the moment with where the team really needed to go.


I quickly remembered a piece of wisdom from one of my mentors many years before. He taught me that the success ratio of any good workshop was based 25% on the design, 25% on the facilitation and 50% on what the participants brought. As facilitators, our willingness to throw out the script was part of our agreement to "be with whatever shows up, even if it's messy!" We brainstormed quickly and spent the rest of the afternoon designing on the fly with a keen ear to what was needed in the moment for resolution and action.

I've heard the saying that "life is what happens while you're making plans" and wonder what might be different if we just listened more intently to those around us for cues as to what we should be doing next. What if we were more willing to throw out our well-crafted scripts of how things should unfold? Might our willingness to mindfully dance in the moment be the very thing that helps us solve the big issues we face?

This week, I challenge you to dance more with what's around you - noticing the scripts you're following and what they might keep you from achieving. What scripts do you need to toss out?