Updates from November, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • marie 10:12 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink |  

    Difficult Conversation Follow Up 

    Well, I had the conversation with Chad this morning.  I picked my power outfit (I’ll spare you the fashion details, but it’s one of my favorite dresses), and I felt like even more of a badass in it after biking to work – never thought I’d be biking anywhere in anything other than some sort of spandex gym clothes or jeans I don’t care about.

    The conversation started to go down a similar path as in the past, which is to say, avoidance of the giant elephant in the room that I’m doing a completely different job than I was hired for with no acknowledgement in any way.  So, I called it out.

    2 things that stood out for me that were different than before:

    *First, I was better able to express my frustration in a positive way – that I want to be able to add the highest amount of value to this company by prioritizing the right tasks and having the time to do them well.

    *This seemed to allow him to open up to me and be more transparent than he had been before by acknowledging that he was (and has been) struggling to convince the upper management of the value of building community internally versus the value of staffing a more robust marketing/business development team.

    I remembered your comment from yesterday @Jess about being able to see the situation from the other person’s viewpoint and I really clearly saw/felt that today.

    I didn’t reach my epic goal (new title, new salary stated/signed off on in the meeting), but I pushed for a concrete follow up plan.  He is meeting with the Finance Director tomorrow and promised to follow up with me directly afterwards.  At a minimum, he assured me we are posting to hire for the part-time person by Friday of this week.  Once hired, I will be directly managing this person, which is exciting for me!

    My new challenge/assignment:  narrowing down the top 3 priorities/projects I’d like to focus on moving forward so that we can better redefine my role.  Caveat – my priorities/projects should take into consideration revenue earning potential as a way to sell it to the management team – game on!

    Overall, I walked away from the conversation feeling a lot better than I have in the past, and regardless of what happens moving forward I’ve got my BATNA – thanks for the acronym Eugene Chan 🙂  So grateful for all of the feedback/support Bootcamp team – more to come!  Looking forward to hopefully seeing you all and working with you all again in the near future.



    • Eugene Eric Kim 10:56 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing, @marie! So glad to hear your meeting went well. In particular, I loved that you:

      1. Put on your superhero costume. We want pictures.
      2. Rode to work in your supervehicle.
      3. Made the move to break past patterns.
      4. Reframed your frustration in a positive way.
      5. Got good outcomes as a result. The specifics around the part-time person is a big win, as well as concrete agreement to followup. You’re usually not going to hit your epic goals — that’s why they’re epic — but all of these seem like great results.

      What does “BATNA” stand for?!

    • Eugene Chan 3:17 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @marie: thank you for the report. you went into the difficult conversation on your own terms. this is inspirational!

    • Eugene Chan 3:30 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      BTW, narrowing the projects/priorities seems like a perfect candidate for a bootcamper exercies – either solo or in conjunction with others. (I am happy to offer feedback or be an active listener.)

      • Rebecca 10:38 pm on November 11, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Agreed! Narrowing would be a great bootcamper exercise! And something I’d love to practice. Count me in! & Marie, if I can be of service at all from a long term member in helping you play with that narrowing, don’t hesitate to reach out!!

    • Brooking

      Brooking 5:17 pm on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Awesome! Thanks so much for the update and glad it went well with clear follow up in place. This part:
      “my priorities/projects should take into consideration revenue earning potential as a way to sell it to the management team – game on!” seems like great learning – in smaller organizations where justifying entirely internal roles can be difficult, it seems smart to link the work you love with work that aligns with profit/biz dev goals. Look forward to hearing more please do keep us posted!

    • Jessica 4:44 am on November 15, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Marie, thanks for the report! I was totally empathetic throughout the whole description, having had my own set of tough conversations recently… (and apologies for the delayed reply… I was paying attention to exit interviews and must have missed this email)

      Re: narrowing, and this may be a bit tangential, but two things come to mind… and maybe I can solicit your and @eekim ‘s help in turning this into our next bootcamp exercise (yes team … I’m “it”):

      1. There’s a neat exercise that involve narrowing down a deck of “Purpose” cards (e.g., thinking critically, connecting to others, writing) to identify what your core interests are. Would it be interesting to go through an exercise of narrowing down a set of skills to think about what you might be passionate and/or good at? (I have a sense that @brooking might have done this before)

      2. As part of a community of practice of which I was a part, we had Holly Minch present a “persuation framework” (see this link: http://networksguide.wikispaces.com/4-6+Creating+shared+language+and+talking+about+networks+and+network+impact) that helps you think about crafting highly targeted/relevant messages.

      Does anyone have a particularly negative reaction to either of these two?
      @impact hub? @eekim and @marie, you interested in helping a changemaker create a workout around either one of these?

      • Eugene Eric Kim 1:04 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think both are interesting, and I’d be happy to help.

  • Eugene Eric Kim 7:20 pm on November 6, 2013 Permalink |  

    I just posted our first exit interview (thanks @marie!) on the Changemaker Bootcamp blog.


    Looking forward to speaking with the rest of you over the next week. You’ll be able to watch the aggregated set at:


  • marie 2:58 pm on October 30, 2013 Permalink |  

    Wow, that was intense 

    I just wanted to thank everyone  for all of your support and incredible feedback during my role play yesterday.  Though it was really intense for me in that moment, I realized as I was riding the BART home, I was already feeling much more buoyant.  I’m hopeful that by releasing my frustration through practicing the conversation, and with a good meeting design going into it, I will better be able to position myself and walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment rather than frustration or defeat.  Will be updating you in real time at the next meeting 🙂

    Love the resources that people are posting – looking forward to being in a room with all of your collective brilliance again next week.


    • Eugene Eric Kim 9:11 pm on October 30, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for modeling and setting such a wonderful example, @marie! You are a badass, and you showed that clearly yesterday. Hope it goes well, looking forward to hearing how it goes next week. Don’t forget your power pose! 🙂

  • marie 10:43 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink |  

    Long delayed meeting update! 

    I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for my meeting update, so apologies I kept you waiting so long.  The design I had set up for the meeting was solely focused on a conversation around Workbench, but the other players in the meeting each had their own agendas as I had partially expected.  Thus, I didn’t meet my epic goal to get us all on the same page about the future of Workbench, as WB was only talked about for about 25% of the total meeting time.

    Having said that, we did spend a good amount of time getting on the same page from a historical and current perspective, which checked off 2 of my 3 agenda items.  We also all agreed to set up a follow up meeting in which we included more stakeholders (board members, contract people who are working on programming in the space) to have a brainstorm about the education space in general and think about potential partnerships for our education platforms.  I felt like that was a win – although, the meeting hasn’t been set yet.

    In terms of “after the meeting” work – I’m going to be focusing on some research to get an overview of the education space and see what partners might be a natural fit for us.  Thanks for all of your help last week thinking this through with me!  It was the first time I’ve ever thought so deeply about meeting design, and I’m excited to continue implementing these techniques moving forward as it helped me measure my success afterwards even when the meeting didn’t go as planned – as I have a feeling it rarely will.

    • Eugene Eric Kim 11:38 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @marie, congratulations on your water cooler debut and also on a solid meeting! 🙂 Thank you for posting your update. I think hitting two of your three goals and agreeing to a followup with a clear goal is definitely a win. Remember, this is all practice. It will get easier over time, and I’m looking forward to hearing how your experiences evolve with practice.

      And, don’t sell your expectations short on future meetings going as planned! As your participants start making it a habit to get clear about their own intentions before and during meetings, I think you’ll start to find meetings happening exactly as planned!

    • Jessica 12:01 am on October 29, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Marie, first, I’d really like to explore working with you on this meeting as a way to complete my challenge!

      Second, check out this infographic about the future of learning that may be of relevance: http://knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/A-Glimpse-into-the-Future-of-Learning-Infographic_0.pdf

      See you tomorrow!


      • marie 3:00 pm on October 30, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Jess – Yes! And YES! I’d love to learn more about what that would look like – maybe we could set up a time to meet outside of bootcamp?

  • Jessica 4:27 am on October 28, 2013 Permalink |  

    Hi team! A few thoughts / updates, apples and oranges but run with me here:
    1. For a really useful report on meeting design, check out my colleague’s recent publication: GATHER: The Art & Science of Effective Convenings (http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/bellagio-center/gather-art-science-effective)
    2. #failforward is back in play! Let’s use it!
    3. Really interested in hearing how it went Marie… keep us posted:-)
    4. Eugene, I’ve been considering using the 100 questions (or a variation) in a convening I’m designing for work. Brief, I’m thinking of having a “peer assist” that starts with the 100 questions to help reframe / crystallize the challenge. My question to you revolves around what might follow the 100 questions exercise (or something similar) when you’re in a group setting… Any thoughts?

    • Eugene Eric Kim 3:28 pm on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and links, @jessausinheiler! As I noted in my most recent post, I’ve started collecting links posted here into one document, which you can access in Resources in the main menu above. I’m going to respond to most of your other points in separate posts (other than to echo your sentiments about @marie: let us know how it went!).

      Regarding integrating your 100 questions exercise into your convening: I’d like to open this up to the other bootcampers before making my own suggestions. What questions and advice do you all have for Jess?

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