Several weeks ago I was in Portage LaPrairie, Manitoba, facilitating an Mandt workshop. When I landed in Winnipeg, I knew it would be an interesting week, because I could not see the terminal due to the blowing snow. The roads from Winnipeg west were closed that night, and did not reopen until 7am on Monday. Needless to say, we were all late for the first day of the workshop!
Now, when things like this happen, there are basically two choices: have fun, or don’t have fun. The week before I was facilitating a workshop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the college in which we were holding the workshop closed on Tuesday at 1pm, and with a class of 26 people I had to finish by Thursday to get all the recertifying instructors out. Working together, we got that done, and this was my setting event for spending an unanticipated night in a hotel 100 km from where I was supposed to be.
Haim Ginott says in Between Parent and Child that “in all situations, it is my response that decides if a situation escalates or de-escalates, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.” So on Monday at 11am there was myself and 11 other people, all having braved the snow and winds and minus 20 C weather to work together. We responded, we did not react, and as a result, we worked together as a team, and we had fun doing it.
We were able to achieve all the goals of our team, and we had a good time, because everyone brought with them the philosophy and attitudes taught in The Mandt System®. How you program yourself and your team is how you will respond, we teach, and the responses everyone had showed how deeply ingrained the philosophy and values of Mandt were and are in these people, and I would imagine in almost everyone who attends Mandt System® workshops.
Those of us who have the privilege and joy of traveling around the US and Canada, and even points beyond, get to meet thousands of the best people in the world. There may not be glitches like this in every workshop, in fact there are not glitches like this in every workshop. But in every workshop I’ve ever done while teaching this one syllable class called Mandt, I’ve had fun because of people like you who are reading these words. My hope for the world increases after every workshop because I know people like you are in it.
So last night, coming home from Manitoba and still feeling good, I was on the last flight from Atlanta to Ohio. I was watching the ending of a movie I had started on the previous flight, when the flight attendant asked me to close up my iPad and prepare to land in Atlanta. Atlanta?? My facial expression must have communicated my question, because she asked if I had heard that the landing gear did not retract and that we had been circling, burning fuel so we could land. No, I did not hear that, I was flying home, watching a movie and having fun. But we landed, safe and sound, I spent an unanticipated night in Atlanta, and got another chance to have fun. I am hoping my next flight has fewer opportunities to have unanticipated fun, if you know what I mean.
Bob Bowen – SVP Product Development