Let People Talk


Let People Talk “Let’s take a coffee break.” Finally! The best part of the conference. Because we can talk, we are free to connect, and we can exchange in the way that works for us.

What if, rather than forcing people to listen, we create the conditions to Let People Talk. As leaders, our role is to tap the collective intelligence - to let people talk. Unfortunately, the trends of transparency, social networks, guru watching and short-termism have diminished real conversations.

Today’s complexities and multifaceted issues require authentic conversation. True dialogue is not only refreshing, it is the best way to navigate the paradoxes we face. Being a conversationalist breeds inclusiveness, collaboration and engagement.

The goal of the conversations we need is not consensus, it’s breakthroughs. We need diverse voices to stimulate thoughts, challenge each other and uncover insights. Sitting down with others, for intentional conversations, is still the best way, to find answers to tough questions.


Create Participant Experiences


Everyone wants a happy ending for a team event. One of the largest stumbling blocks is not the strategy, budget or environment – it is ourselves. The stress of being the central pin holding the project together combined with the pressure from stakeholders and our own concerns can lead us away from our ultimate aim: to create participant experiences that lead to results and success.

Here are four ways to lower your stress while creating participant experiences:


Slow Management

Today’s complexity requires us to slow down. Slowing down means taking time to digest information, discuss divergent points of view and ruminate on options that are less than obvious. 
Time is no longer money. Great oak trees were not small acorns yesterday. Wisdom comes not quickly. Speed-based KPI’s are no longer adequate for managers, they need is slow management. Here are three qualities of the slow manager:


Social Platforms Enhance Events

Live facilitated events are enhanced by social platforms. Here’s what to do:

Before: pre-work, collect expectations & needs, give materials, tweet the event
During: co-creation, crowd-sourcing, exchanging ideas, connecting resources
After: Posting outcomes, consolidating learnings, sharing of results


Here are the elevator pitches of popular social platforms you can use. Collaboration Software

System that inter-connects your people with each other and their collective knowledge, seamlessly. helps teams to communicate faster and build collaborative knowledge by sharing and discussing various forms of digital content within a secure, unified application. It combines the capabilities of collaboration tools like wikis, social networks, blogs, file sharing repositories, micro blogs, discussion boards and other communication applications into one secure enterprise platform. Learn more at


Confessions of A Teambuilder

Imagine your worst holiday, and your worst day at work, combine them and you have it – teambuilding!

Have you ever been on a teambuilding...You know, get together with people from work and pretend you are enjoying it... Over the years, I have been on my share of teambuildings.

The first time, I was a naïve young chap. Offered free food, drink and travel, being out of the office... I was enthusiastic. While the concept seemed to make sense, the actual details were of a world I did not yet comprehend…

- Dress codes (casual chic, what is that sweat pants and pearls?) 

- Seating arrangements, (why must I sit next to this unbuttoned, hairy chested, gold clad man?)

- Small talk exercises (“identify something you have in common” hmm, both think this is dumb)


Three Ideas for an Inspirational 2012

Jeffer’s 3 concepts to stimulate ideas & build futures in 2012: Talk about it! Learn together online! Tell stories!


1. Authentic Dialogue

Whether we want to stimulate, innovate or motivate, our ability to inspire meaningful conversations is central to our success. 2011’s social upheaval, market turbulence and confidence crisis has left us with uneasy emotions and unanswered questions. Conversation is the best way to reconcile the complexities and paradoxes of 2012. Naturally techniques such as ‘world café’, ‘open space technology’, and ‘appreciative inquiry’ will be back in the forefront, as we are asked to host conversations that illuminate our direction and give meaning to our work. Take time for talking in 2012.


The Peter Principle at 40

My boss Peter is a moron. In fact, according to the Peter Principle (PP), all bosses are incompetent. The PP, now in its 40th anniversary edition, was a best seller when it was first published. A satiric treatise on workplace incompetence, it touched a nerve with readers because it was so funny. And so true. According to the PP, in a workplace hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. Workers are promoted so long as they work competently. Eventually they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent, where they garner the ubiquitous comment: “My manager is a moron”.


Dialogue Trumps Complexity

Q&A on being a facilitator of three days of conversation with 400 European citizen representatives (Europe Direct’s Annual General Meeting: #AGM2011).


Q: How can we engage citizens in the European project?
A: Discussion.

Dialogue is the best way to navigate the complexities of multifaceted issues. Talking through topics offers an inclusive way to collaborate and elevates the diverse voices needed to stimulate thoughts, deepen meaning and enrich insights. Counter to the twitter-logic and too-busy-attitudes, sitting down with others is still the best way to come together around tough questions.


Social Learning


Facebook + “How to…” Thinking = the New Social Learning

According to Bandura’s old model of Social Learning, people learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”


The Why and What in Training

People learn more when they know why the topic is important, what to expect and how the process will run. Common sense. Inspirational training is about creating a memorable experience for people – no matter how it is done, trainers need to first cover the Why and the What.


Stimulating Ideas & Building Futures