Build community by organising events in the “gift economy” style

This winter I tried something new: I organised an event in the “gift economy” style. Inspired by ancient gift cultures, gift economy means offering an event (or other work) as a gift instead of exchanging it directly for money. At the end of the event people connect with their gratitude and give in a way that fits for them—either with money or with non-monetary gifts. The idea is to promote community, connection, and gratitude by moving away from transactions. Continue reading Build community by organising events in the “gift economy” style

Use pair writing to collaborate with subject matter experts

I’ve written a post on the GatherContent blog about pair writing:

Pair writing is a technique for collaborating on content in real time. Instead of exchanging drafts or correcting with a red pen, two people sit down together to write. You can use it to help content specialists collaborate with subject matter experts, or to include managers in the writing process, or to get input from colleagues when you need help. It builds understanding and trust, speeds up publishing processes, and creates content that meets user needs.

Learn practices for building trust in groups: my new gift-economy-style evening course

I’m leading a new evening course where people learn to create safe spaces using techniques from facilitation, conflict resolution, and improvisational theatre. Instead of charging a fee, I’m offering the course “gift economy” style.  Continue reading Learn practices for building trust in groups: my new gift-economy-style evening course

How to facilitate when you’re the expert: podcast conversation with Penny Walker

In this podcast with my friend and colleague Penny Walker, we discuss the challenge of facilitating discussions when you’re the expert. Penny is an independent facilitator specialising in sustainable development. She also presented at #dareconf mini last year.  Continue reading How to facilitate when you’re the expert: podcast conversation with Penny Walker

When people don’t engage in meetings, reframe your objectives to give them choice

When we go into meetings aiming to change people’s minds, they often object because their need for choice isn’t met. If we reframe our objectives to include finding solutions together, we can facilitate in a way that meets each person’s need for choice. Continue reading When people don’t engage in meetings, reframe your objectives to give them choice

Pushing back blocks empathy. Can you connect instead?

When a colleague makes a suggestion that we fear may harm our chances of success, we tend to “push back” against their position. This confrontation normally leads to neither side being satisfied. But if we connect instead of pushing back, we can move beyond positions and discover the underlying needs. This builds empathy and opens up options we hadn’t previously considered. Continue reading Pushing back blocks empathy. Can you connect instead?

Jonathan Kahn’s blog about building trust through communication