Anticipating a new experience – my reflections

… and when I was 12, arriving in Burundi for the first time, as we were driven from the airport, the embassy staff accompanying us offered this to me: ‘It’s dark now, you can’t really see what’s around you. How about you go write down what you think it’ll be like tonight. Then tomorrow as the day unfolds, you’ll be able to compare notes’.   This is what I am thinking of now as I prepare for my first big agile conference in Orlando, both as attendee and speaker.

My session – Clean Language Questions for the Aspiring Agile Learner: Advanced Listening Skills – is in the first slot on the first full day of the conference.  I don’t know how that came to be, but I definitely think it is fortuitous. Doing it when my energy is high, right at the start is perfect.
I’m glad to share a topic that was first introduced to me by an agilist from Korea, June Kim. I’m glad Agile Alliance is willing to take on topics that are not ‘purely’ agile, but may lead to great agility!

Through clean language coaching, I’ve been able to reclaim myself from a time when I was more exuberant and open, learning and thriving on the environment and possibilities around me.  When arriving in Africa at the age of 12, I was very excited. I had images in my mind, and yet wasn’t sure what to expect.  I felt bubbly in my tummy – warm, and simmering anticipation. Just as I knew the few following years in Burundi were to be full of adventure and new connections, I also know now that my foray into Clean Language will be all about learning and it will last for years and be equally adventurous.

As a few folks have noted yesterday in a twitter conversation, there is a debate about whether professionals in IT who don’t take ownership of their own learning are just part of a system and can’t reach beyond its hold, or whether they are practicing ‘learned helplessness’ and could choose to do something different.  I do know that once you have found something you like, you will pull your head out of the sand and go for it. There is no uncertainty here.

Aside from my own conviction that clean offers everyone something to take away, I’m also buoyed by the fact that there are proven uses of Clean Language already in businesses, in IT, and in other domains where people need to collaborate at work.  I want to use clean language and systemic modeling in the coaching and facilitation work I do – more frequently and more deliberately than I do now. And I want to share it.

When I am not doing agile coaching at Santeon and preparing for my talks, I am also working on a book with Sharon Small who is the first certified clean language facilitator in the US. The book is modeled after the ‘Who is agile? book’ (which by the way, is free today) that I helped Yves Hanoulle produce in 2012.  This new book will be called ‘Who is using Clean Language, anyway?’  It will be a similar community book – of interest to those who want to explore clean language and its related methodologies.  You’ll be able to find out how clean language is changing lives of people around the world. I hope to have first draft out by Agile 2014, with about 10 folks in it. It is so exciting to follow one’s passion.

For those coming to my session in two weeks, I look forward to sharing and am glad you are coming! Yay!  And now, before I forget, I suppose I’ll have to start writing down what I expect the conference will be like now, so I can compare notes after…applying my learnings from a distant past…. and well….a very ‘agile’ thing to do.

Explore posts in the same categories: Clean Language, Conference

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