Tie it tighter.

Part of the LAS cohort of 2013
Credit: Dan Gaken 2013

Connections is a conference, hosted by Central Michigan’s Leadership Institute, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.  The conference revolves around enhancing interactions between members inside and outside of groups.  It was also a weekend to network with students involved in numerous different organizations on campus.  Different workshops hit key points on how to do this; for example, there were sessions on utilizing body language to convey you messages in an impacting way, setting goals to accelerate your dreams, and asking life’s tougher questions as a way to change the monotonous script of every day life.  These sessions wall aimed to to better group dynamics by strengthening personal interactions.

Jordan and David
Credit: Dan Gaken 2013

The theme this year was: “capture the moment | focusing on the future.”  As a LAS cohort going in to connections together, we stuck pretty true to the theme.  In our institute meetings, we talked about how we appreciated how things within our cohort were going now, and we expressed desires to strengthen our ties down the road.  The session that I thought would be most useful for this goal was called “Yummy Curiosity.”  The workshop revolved around a book called “SoulPancake” by Rainn Wilson. The book advocates that stronger bonds start with stronger questions.  The book is actually full of questions, some may deem interesting, others may deem unusual; however you view them, the questions make you think.

“What’s one thing you learned that blew your mind?”

“How do you determine truth?”

“Where do you find calm in a chaotic world?”

In this session, we were each given a slip with a different question from the book. We went around the room asking others the question on the slip in front of us.  After we both answered, we traded slips and moved around the room, asking new questions.

These questions expose people a little more than usually comfortable; an extent of vulnerability is required to answer these questions.   Which is perfect for members of group who want to build stronger bonds.  Revealing that inner honest self is difficult for some, and these questions aid in that pursuit.  You can know someone, and you can know someone.  These questions help you get passing knowing people and into knowing people.

[That’s what I love about German language:  They have a word for “knowing” people’s names (wissen) and a separate word for “knowing” people (kennen). ]

David in session
Credit: Dan Gaken 2013

Connections made it evident that our cohort values each other, and that we wish to tighten our ties.  In class the following monday, we split up into groups in order to collaboratively plan ways to meet our goals as a group.  Through action planning, we wish to help our cohort find balance, build deeper and more meaningful connections, and continue to make a positive impact on central’s campus out ides of our cohort.  Our cohort seems dedicated to capture the moment we are in,  and furthermore, determined to continue focusing on the future.

David and Courtney
Credit: Dan Gaken 2013

A song to accompany this post:

One thought on “Tie it tighter.”

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