When opportunity knocks


Sometimes openness takes on rather unusual appearances. I can remember walking into a seminar I had been invited to facilitate. The tension in the room was so strong it was almost a physical presence. When I shook hands with the manager of the group I felt a wave of hostility sweeping towards me. The unwritten part of my contract asked for help to deal with this atmosphere, on paper I was there to train the department in Leadership and Delegation. This group didn’t believe that they needed me, they felt they were being forced to attend and they would be wasting this whole day. The manager had reluctantly agreed to be there for a few minutes since I had asked for his presence.

I felt the group was ripe for change because of the strength of emotion in the group. For me it was an indication of their passion for their work and I was so very pleased to be there. If that same power could be directed into more uplifting emotions, if there could be a movement from individuality to more of a group consciousness, then wow, what an amazing group this could be.

As we talked it was just so heartwarming to watch the self-awareness grow and to see the manager take the lead in the process. I watched the shift from my facilitating, to the manager and I facilitating, and finally when the group Self took responsibility. We started at 9:30 am and by lunch time there was such a turn around. They laughingly agreed to take part in the one activity I had planned, on their own, over lunch they were to celebrate one member of the group. Lunch had to be extended by half an hour. When they returned it was unanimous, they were excited about coming in to work on Monday. Since their manager had spent the day with us he could authorize the early completion of the seminar.

When we shook hands at the end of the day, what a difference, that driving hostility was now expressing itself as a powerful force that could hold the group together in a dynamic co-creative space.

That manager and that whole department taught me a lot about being open. When they had the opportunity to see from another point of view, they not only readily embraced it, they made changes in themselves right away. As that manager became more self-aware I had great admiration for the way he empowered the group. Change could not have happened so quickly without each individual’s openness, which translated into a group openness. They were great role models for me.

Today I will strive to be more open to grasp the opportunities life presents to me, to open the door when opportunity knocks.




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