Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Day of Challenge

On this second full day at the Leadership Development Program, Sr. Joan Sobala spoke with us about the positive implications of being steadfast.  Using the Isaiah 11:1-10 reading, she pointed out to us that this reading challenges us to do impossible things; wolves lying down with lambs for example. She reminded us that being steadfast is not easy, it requires work and desire.  We only learn to be
Sr. Joan Sobala
steadfast by practice and watching others who can inspire us.  In many situations the task is bigger than our lifetime and we won't live to see the outcome. She reminded us that John the Baptist had a big vision and he knew it was going to get him into trouble, but he stayed the course, even to his death.

Peggy McAlister
We spent the day working with Peggy McAlister who had been the coach for most of the sisters as we sorted through our Leadership Circle profile, the tool we used to assess our leadership strengths and areas for growth.  Peggy began by asking

We used a relational circle which
 helped us understand our test results better

us to recognize what isn't working anymore in hierarchical ways that leadership is often practiced.  She shared that there are 3 practices which are emerging as essential tools for an effective leader, 1) have a clear purpose, 2) be a compassionate presence, and 3) engage in partnerships- the day of the hero and the lone wolf are over.

Working in pairs, we jumped in to
facing  our worst  fears about
 ourselves  and our abilities
This exercise brought us closer together
 as a group committed to the mission
 of the program
We spent some time focusing on our purpose and then dealing with messages that we give ourselves that restrict our abilities to be effective.  She used a skill-based learning approach that through some slight exaggerations enabled us to actually experience the triggers in our bodies that warn us of the barriers we are erecting that inhibit effective connections with others.  While we were working with these exercises, there was a noticeable change in the energy and intensity in the room.  I can't even find words to explain it but it was obvious that people were experiencing major insights and break-throughs that were freeing them up. This became more obvious when we processed the experience together as a large group.
Sr. Mary Quinn is my mentor

The day ended with a meeting with our mentors
followed by more card playing and line dancing.  We are definitely connecting with each other at many levels, emotionally and socially.

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