Discovering the dance, executing without effort
I am standing in front of the room, no agenda and no notes, leading a two day workshop on a topic I feel like I am only beginning to understand. With my co-leader, we set out to teach a group of women the luxurious, abundant permission that we ourselves longed for: A weekend fully focused on discovering our pleasure, power, and presence.
The catch? We had to plan and execute the whole 24 hour event with 80% of our time lazer focused on the co-leader relationship, and only 20% focused on event design and logistics.
Leading up to the event, we struggled. How do you pull off a successful event without focusing on the event details and logistics? We did our best to muddle through. When we slipped into talking about agendas and tasks, we attempted to redirect the conversation back to ourselves. Instead of planning, we played. Instead of building a timeline, we talked about our dreams, our fears, what we admired about each other, and where we wanted to see each other grow.
Despite going against every impulse to put logistics first, we held our ground, and slowly and surely the details of the event manifested as if by magic along side the growing intimacy.
The weekend unfolded effortlessly and beautifully, like a flower blooming. On the first day, when we felt ourselves reaching for notes or panicking about logistics we reminded each other of our leadership stake - the bigger WHY of what we were up to - and leaned into each other to stay grounded with hugs and time in nature. By the second and last day, the whole group was so dropped into pleasure we could experience the deepening all around us: Enhanced sensations. Slowness and space for self-reflection. A profound transformation was taking place in each of the participants as they shed the things that had been holding them back and stepped into claim their newfound power.
As I flew back from Toronto after the conclusion - shocked and in awe of this experience - I wondered aloud: How did I just manage to pull off the easiest and most enjoyable facilitation of my life with less planning and preparation than ever before?
For three years, I have watched in amazement the dance between leaders at the front of the room facilitating the Coach Training Institute courses.
Six months into my leadership training, I now know the secret: The co-leader dance, no matter what content is being delivered, requires the perfect knowledge that doing it together is always better than doing it alone. In that choice, to truly partner, to trust, and to privilege the relationship above all else, lies the secret of the dance.
This new way - putting the relationship at the center of the project - requires an act of trust to walk away from our normal way of doing and lean fully into our partner. Only then can we truly source, moment by moment, what is perfectly needed for the room and the other, revealing in this dance our true brilliance shines with ease, flexibility and grace.
Whether you are planning a wedding, a workshop, or executing on a major work project, here are some tips I have learned about how to try on this new way of putting the relationship front and center:
Pick someone to dance with. As leaders, we realize we never need to go it alone. Take the top three problems you are trying to solve on your to-do list and ask someone to partner with you. When you ask them to co-lead with you, try to throw out the rule book and habitually focus on outcomes and get curious about the dance you are creating together. Is it a tango or a waltz, ecstatic dance or a salsa? What tempo do you want and what will the dance between you inspire in each of you? Take the focus off solving the problem and instead get curious about the relationship.
Prepare less. Imagine it: What if we already had everything we needed to put on a fantastic show? When we drop our need to perfectly prepare, we open ourselves up to actually creating from the energy - people, resources, experience - presenting to us. You have everything you need right now to create what is needed. What might be available in the space that you have been overlooking? What assumptions might be getting in the way of you being fully present to create from your full brilliance?
Relax into trusting your partner and yourself. When you lean into your partner at 100% - which means leading with vulnerability and authenticity - you open yourself to the resources you already have inside. The key to full trust is talking about it. Share with your partner about your fears and design together what it looks like to trust each other in the moment, and where you want to hold each other accountable. Set an intention to trust yourself and dance with whatever shows up, and take everything that arises in service of your learning.
It took an act of faith for me to facilitate a weekend of pleasure without my normal tools, processes and planning. And the result was more than I could have ever expected.
My invitation to you is this: Dare to put something out in the world. Dare to create it with others. Who could you lean into today if you dared? And how might it be easier than you ever imagined?