Just before I presented at my staff meeting this week, a colleague turned to me and said “Don’t you ever get nervous?” Well, of course I do but I have just coached myself to move past those nerves as fast as possible and to take those creative risks. The nerves are still there but I’ve developed….coping mechanisms.
One of my all-time favourite movies is Baz Luhrman’s first movie “Strictly Ballroom”. Here’s a clip from it:
The moral of the story becomes “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
This month I’ve been learning with/from Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen‘s online course inside TVO’s TeachOntario called Mindful Facilitation: Leading in Online Spaces and once again I am in awe of how deep an impact my online learning has on me. I really liked the module about Appreciative Inquiry & Coaching. Peter coached us to help participants in online spaces to dig deeper through questions that clarified or asked for detail or showed that we were listening. I’m trying very hard to let the participants in my eLearning English course and in the #BIT16Reads book club to take the direction where they want it to go. Sometimes there may be uncomfortable silences but this is my perception of discomfort. I’m also trying to be much more present and human in my interactions. My Dad, who embarrassed me and enjoyed it at every turn, used to tell me to just imagine my audience naked. It never worked but I did learn to have a good laugh at myself when needed. Whenever I feel nervous now about taking a creative risk, I try to imagine what the other people are feeling … suspicious, timid, awkward, and then I just try to take the next step in lessening those feelings…often with a laugh. Here’s a little video of what being vulnerable and authentic mean to my teaching: