For me, the hardest thing about presenting professional workshops is time management. I want participants to comment, but how can I plan in advance for exactly how long their comments will be? Even worse, how can I accurately estimate the length of my own impromptu moments? It seems obvious that there’s a need for spontaneity. I don’t want to cut off potentially valuable comments from participants . . . and I don’t want to cut off my own creative musings either. Clearly, the clock is my workshop enemy.
For example, how could I know in advance that I would suddenly feel compelled to share a personal dream of mine with 85 of my new Cincinnati counselor friends? Never before had I shared with a workshop audience that 45 years-ago I dreamt I was Felix-the-Cat and then while crossing the road (as Felix), I got hit by a car . . . and died.
But then I woke up and have kept on living.
I like to think that particular disclosure is a perfectly normal thing to do when you’ve got a group of professional counselors to listen to you.
The point was to bust the myth that some teenage client have (and will talk about in counseling) that if they dream they die, it is prophetic and means they’ll die soon in real life also.
And beyond my personal dream disclosure, how would I know that one of the participants would have such passion that he would accept an invitation to come up to the microphone and share a physical relaxation technique that he uses with elementary school students.
These are just two samples of the sort of thing you missed because you weren’t in Cincinnati at the Schiff Center on the Xavier University campus yesterday.
But you also missed the start of the workshop where I decided on the spot that it was just the right time and place for me to open the workshop with a story of the most embarrassing moment in my life. It struck me as an awesome idea at the time . . . and it really was the most embarrassing moment of my life . . . until a few hours later when I shared my Felix-the-Cat dream.
There are always bigger mountains to climb.
You also missed meeting my incredibly gracious hosts from the Greater Cincinnati Counseling Association including, Butch Losey (who’s the most humble and understated guy who should be famous I’ve ever met), Kay Russ (who’s right up there with the most responsible person I’ve ever met), and Brent Richardson (who is as irreverent and insightful as ever), and Robert Wubbolding (who may be on his way to Casablanca to do a week long choice theory/reality therapy workshop by the time I post this and yet took eight hours out of his life to attend the workshop anyway).
So that’s just a little taste of what you missed in Cincinnati.
I’ll bet you wish you were there. I know I’m glad I was.
2 thoughts on “What You Missed in Cincinnati”
John, I didn’t miss it and I’m glad I didn’t! Just assigned two of your articles to Practicum students along with a link to your blog piece on Clinical Interviewing.
Talk about embarrassing moments, I was originally honored with introducing you, except no one had bothered to inform me! That turned out for the best, as these things often go, when Brent volunteered and could add a much more personal touch to the introduction.
Thanks, John, your presentations were greatly appreciated!
It was great to hang out with you all in Cincy.
No worries on your embarrassing moment . . . it would have been easier if someone had actually let you know of your particular honored task:).
I’m glad you appreciated the presentations. After the fact I’ve always got a dozen self-critiques, so the positive feedback helps calm those down.