Join Adam J. Salgat, Mike Desparrois and Shara Brice – Strategic Engagement Leader – as they discuss the four partnership divisions of Our Community Listens. Shara also recounts her 10 years with the organization.
As you listen, think about how you could impact your company, community group, or circler of friends by instilling the communication skills training.
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Adam Salgat 0:00
Welcome to the our community listens podcast where we strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening, leadership, care and service to create truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. First, explore more at our community lessons.org
Hello, and welcome to the our community listens podcast. My name is Adam Salgat. And with me today as my regular co host as he’s becoming is Mike despairs. Mike, how are you doing today?
Speaker 2 0:50
I am doing wonderful today, Adam. The sun is shining. It is spring out here in West Texas. So I feel great. And I’m super excited about today’s guest. How are you doing?
Adam Salgat 1:02
I’m doing well. It’s it’s been hectic week around here. But it’s coming along nicely. And thankful that we were able to get this guest on our podcast and a little bit of short notice that we gave her so I’m very thankful that Miss Shara Bryce, who is the strategic engagement leader for our community listens. Sherif, welcome to the podcast.
Unknown Speaker 1:23
Thank you, Adam. Thank you, Mike. I’m delighted to be here.
Adam Salgat 1:27
Sure. Tell me a little bit about how you started with our community lessons and that you’ve been here since the very beginning. Is that right?
Speaker 3 1:35
I have been with our community Listen, since 2011, when I moved back from England to the states, and we moved to Aspen, Colorado. And it wasn’t long until I met Bob and Cynthia Chapman. And I heard about their work. And his vision for building a world where everybody matters, and build the more caring community is. And Mr. Chapman asked me to go to lunch with him and with Mrs. Chapman. And they shared their vision. And they asked me if I would go to St. Louis and attend the communication skills training class, which I did in June 2011. And then I came back and Mr. Chapman was speaking in Aspen and talking about his vision. And so he said, Hey, let’s do an experiment. Let’s build a chapter in Aspen, which is a community of less than 8000 people who live there year round, but host between 40 45,000 tourist in our in our season. So people work really hard to make Aspen a beautiful and welcoming place to receive the world. And so Mr. And Mrs. Chapman live in Aspen a good portion of the year. And they wondered, what if, what if we share this gift with Aspen? What might the results be? And it’s been amazing to see what happened not only there. But in our other regions. And with our partnerships, the ripple effect is truly remarkable.
Adam Salgat 3:00
Well, I’m excited to hear some of the stories that I’m sure you have been in the 10 years now that you’ve been working in Aspen, what was one of your early roles with the organization.
Speaker 3 3:12
So first, Mr. Chapman would speak. And he said, Now I want you to find people who might like to teach the class and I said, Well, maybe we should have a class. And so we held a couple of pilots and filled it with some great inspirational leaders. And so I was I was setting up the classes and handling the logistics. And then it was suggested that perhaps I I teach the class as well. So I learned to do that. And we got started and we hit our targets really quickly because the demand was high, and people were interested. And so we began mapping out the community to say what would this look like to really embed this in clusters of leadership. And so we met with the sheriff and the chief of police, and owners of small business and school leaders. And at first the chief of police and the sheriff, they said, you know, if we were going to do this three day class, we would want to do it on our own with our own teams. Because as officers, if you’re going to ask them to be vulnerable, we need to give them a safe space to do that. And so the chief of police and the sheriff along with the mayor and other key leaders attended a class the three day class. And by the end of that class, they said okay, we want to retract that request. This class is so powerful to get to sit down alongside other community leaders and people from all walks of life. We want our people to be mingled amongst the community. We don’t want to do this separate from the community. And so it was brilliant because the city of aspen said, Hey, we would love to have our very best trainer. be trained to teach this class but not because we want to do it internally just with our own employees, but we’ll make it part of her chapters. gription to teach this four times a year for the community, you let our people be in the classes up to, you know, a certain amount of percentage seats per class. And let’s build community together. And what was brilliant is that Colorado Mountain College, which is the number one adventure college in America, and they do a brilliant job bringing all sectors of the community together, they also had to have their professors and Dean’s trained to teach our class. And they could do that as part of serving the community, as well as doing their role. And so we also had Aspen School District, our first school district that integrated it, and they had two people come forward who could teach this class as part of their role with priority given for their own members to take the class. So it was our first kind of experimentation with what happens if people make this part of their way of life. It’s brilliant, because in Aspen, over half of the police force, have taken the class and when you get stopped by an aspen police officer, it feels different. Yeah, they ask questions like, Hey, could you help me understand why you were speeding 25 miles over the limit. And that whole tone, that whole tone sets the conversation differently. And when people take the class in Aspen, and they’re like, there’s something different here. And they realize the police have taken the class, they see a whole difference in how they show up. When parents realize that over half of the educators in Aspen have taken the class, they are so moved because they realize what they’re trying to do at home is also happening in the school system. A third of our health care workers have taken the class, small business owners when you walk down the mall in downtown Aspen. And you realize how many of those people and so Mr. Mr. Chapman, love to be able to go into restaurants and watch how waiters, waitresses, business owners interact with people who come from all over the world to make their their holiday and Aspen. So it’s been a fun experiment. But it’s not limited just to Aspen, as you know, we’ve expanded in so many other places.
Adam Salgat 7:08
And that’s a little bit of what we’re going to talk about today is serving communities. And the evolution of our community listens and how we’re seeking partnerships. And just essentially how to get it in front of more and more people. Am I right?
Speaker 3 7:25
Absolutely, absolutely. Because, you know, we have five chapters that operate in the United States, and they are experiment tanks. But Mr. Chapman believes that everybody matters, we all do. And he wants to reach as many people as possible. And we can’t do that with a single funder model, we need to invite more people to the table, invite people to bring their own head, hands, hearts and resources, so that we can really have a multiplier effect. And that’s part of what the partnership approach is all about.
Speaker 2 7:58
Sure, it’s so great to have you on this podcast, and so overdue in so many different ways, because of not only your title of, you know, overlooking Colorado and the Missouri area in partnerships, about 12 other hats that you also wear, but you’re on title of being like the OCL historian, because not only have you been there, through the through the history of it, but you can speak to the specifics as to why this evolution is occurring. And so as we talk about communities and chapters in kind of those BNR experimental tanks, can you talk a little bit about our partnerships that we have, in a term we use inside OCL on like our partnership hubs, and what type of organizations we’re kind of focusing on for those hubs as well, too.
Speaker 3 8:48
Absolutely, Mike, that’s a brilliant questions. So as we look at the needs of the world, we look for the strategic places where powerful community change is happening. And with our community lessons, we’re focusing on four target areas to which we would love to partner. One of them is the military. And Scott Air Force Base was our first military partner they have done tremendous work. Other military partners we have include Joint Base Charleston might not Air Force Base, and the Cooper’s naval installation base in Tennessee. So our military partners, they teach our three day class as part of what they do. And then they integrate our skills and they spread that literally all over the world as people are deployed. Our second partnership area is government. Government on the local level, really provides key infrastructure for communities whether you’re in the Health and Human Services or in housing or finance, or 911, dispatchers, whatever the aspect of local government it really provides the environment in which a community thrives and survives. So we have local government partners with city of aspen city of Boulder, Adams County and Colorado, as well as city of Alexandria in Virginia. And then Metro West fire in St. Louis, they have a team member on our team. So military, government, and then education and Mike, that is your play ground. But we really believe that if we can make a difference, whether it’s in early childhood, primary school, secondary school, higher education, if we can support the leaders who are shaping the future generations, we can have a larger impact. And then the fourth area is our nonprofits, which is a lovely, large basket where we can embrace a lot of community and opportunities in that space.
Speaker 2 10:44
Yeah, and it’s really interesting as we talk about nonprofits, because that just means there’s so many different groups out there that operate in the nonprofit, some are really large, some are really small. And we still want to find ways to connect with them. I know we’ve had several groups that are nonprofits, I’d like for people, right? So how do we can still serve and support them with their mission as well. So that’s going to kind of lead me to something that you talk a lot about in OC ality work with our partners. And yeah, I know, you work with our community groups with us as well, too. And you say we always have more to gain than we have to give. And when you take a reflection on that with our partners and with our communities, what does that really mean, not just to you when you say that, but like as our goal inside OCL, to receive as well from others?
Speaker 3 11:34
Yes, I do believe that we have more to gain than we do to give. And that really speaks to the mission and our place in the world with our community lessons, or the Chapman foundation for caring communities. There are so many different groups and leaders who have a vision to make a difference in a strategic way. What we offer to that equation is a common language that really helps us understand how we can strengthen our interpersonal relationships. And there are choices we can choose to make as leaders that actually make us more effective. And so I’ve done community development work for 35 years, I so wish that I would have had this class and the skill set when I started out, because it’s a multiplier, when we have these tools in common, we can all achieve what we’ve set out to achieve more efficiently more effectively. And we can care better for those that surround us on the journey. So that’s where in terms of we have more to gain than we do to give. We’re just offering this common skill set. But the mission and the vision of all of the unique organizations that we partner with, they remain truly theirs, we can just be a catalyst that helps them get further faster in the process. And as we mature, as an organization, too, we can take stock and stop and listen and create space for that multiplier effect to accelerate even more quickly and effectively as the groups that we’re partnering with can share how it’s working for them, what could be better, what could help us be even more effective. And none of us have to have all the answers independently. But collectively, we can definitely build stronger, more caring communities.
Speaker 2 13:23
That is such a powerful tool to kind of realize, too, with everything we hear about nonprofits and how we can impact and support each other. If we take a look at that lens and realize we’re not the answer to everything, but others are doing really good work too. It’s really powerful to kind of see how that support system can go into place. I want to circle back to one specific partner and one of our hubs that you kind of brought up. And that’s inside the military sector. And it’s Scott Air Force Base, because I know they’ve been probably one of the original partners, if not the first partner. They’ve definitely been around the longest talk about like how that’s evolved over time because they’ve ran a tremendous amount of classes with a big evolution of facilitators leaving because they’ve been deployed. I mean, what do you think the main thing that has kept them going over time has been and if you want to speak about them a little bit and how powerful of a partner they are, that would be great as well.
Speaker 3 14:29
Thank you, Scott Air Force Base literally has produced 1000s of alumni with our community listens. They ingrained the training into the foundation of their leadership. And we have had many outstanding leaders come from Scott Air Force Base, the challenges while they may learn to facilitate for us and ingrain that into their culture, their first and foremost calling is to serve on behalf of their country, which means they get sent all over the world. So we build these great units of teams teaching, and then they get sent out. So, you know, COVID has not been great. But there have been some interesting innovations that have come from it. And one of those things is that it’s challenged us to reconsider how we do things. And there will be some changes in innovations made. As we move forward, because of what we’ve experienced over this past year. One of those exciting things is with our military. As we work in the virtual space, we have webinars, we have podcast roundtables, we have connect sessions, we have leadership training opportunities, and those can be delivered in this virtual space. And as we talk to our friends at Scott Air Force Base, they’re so excited because their colleagues who are stationed in Germany, or turkey, or Iraq, or Alaska, or wherever they are, they can actually connect virtually and keep the training going. So we’re really hoping that we can reactivate some of our former facilitators who are no longer based at Scott Air Force Base, and yet they are truly living and leading the content every day of their life. So you know, we believe in the power of our three day in person class, that will always be the number one thing that we promote, however, we really want to meet people where they are, and help them strengthen relationships and culture. So we’re excited about the innovations we’ve made over this past year, we’re excited to learn from Scott Air Force Base to say, what does it look like. And we’ve had some stories about people who are deployed, and have spent 12 weeks of the past year as they’ve gone on different deployments in isolation, because of COVID. So every time they go to a new place, they’re two weeks on their own. It’s lonely, it is hard. And so they’re talking about how could we use the content to help people get inducted into that new place as they build relationships get skills under their belt, so we’re learning with them. And we’re grateful for their leadership.
Speaker 2 17:07
So with our partnerships, like Scott’s a big partner, right there, big bass, lots of people, you said, 1000s of alumni, talk a little bit about some of our smaller, quote unquote, partners, or what we kind of call our collaborators, and how we support them, because they might not be able to have a couple people go into the class and be trained and all that. So how would we go about as an organization supporting the smaller little guys that are out there?
Speaker 3 17:36
Well, you know, we’ve mentioned we have more to gain than we do to give. And we’re starting with the premise that we don’t have a one size fits all. But we’re really interested to listening to people’s proposals and their ideas. What we know makes a difference is if you’re practicing the skills, not just by yourself, but in a cluster of other people who are also practicing the skills. When we look at Barry Wehmiller, they have this brilliant class within an organization with the infrastructure that points people to remember, we measure our success by the way we touch the lives of others, it’s literally written on all the walls, when you’re in the community, you may not work in an organization, live with a family have friends who have taken the class. So it’s an entirely different environment. How do we build caring communities, when we find other people who are working towards the same end goal, who are willing to practice, we believe that our three day classes even more effective so my que mentioned collaborators, collaborators could be an organization that is too small to have one of our one of their team members trained in our curriculum, because if you’re going to go through all the work of being trained, you need to teach quite a lot. They may only be able to offer four classes and their whole organization would be trained. So it’s better to collaborate and get that goal met, and then find ways to sustain that within your organization. So while we will continue to offer community classes open to any individuals, and the community classes are a place that people can send their team members. There are many times when people say, I’d love for my whole team and my board to be able to go through the class together. And we’re here to say yes, let’s make it happen. Let’s find a way to do that, so that you can have this experience together. We also recognize we I believe, Maggie from Whitcomb terrace and Aspen was one of your early guests to Adam Mackey is an executive director of a residential care center where there are 12 members of staff who have to work 24 hours a day to care for for their people. And so it took them three months with people rotating through community classes for their whole team to do it. We recognize that there are many different ways to make this work. But for other teams, organizations, if they can do it in two or three classes and have it all done, they can actually move forward together with a common language. So we are here to help make that happen, so that people can continue doing the excellent work that they’ve set out to do.
Speaker 2 20:19
I think that’s one of my favorite things about OCL. And working inside, and then also hearing the stories of the collaborating groups that we can work with, and finding unique situations and unique ways to meet their needs to like, where we get to do this training. You know, sometimes it’s somewhere big and nice. And sometimes it’s somewhere where we have a room and there’s an electrical cord, right. But it’s we find a way in, regardless of how nice the spaces or how good the food is, you hear the same results with how it’s changed lives. And I think that is so neat that we go beyond groups that are three or four people 10 people, like you said, or massive groups like Scott, that we kind of fulfill our partnership with over time, and build out as well, too. And I think that’s that’s one of the flavors of our uniqueness that I hope we never lose.
Speaker 3 21:18
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, one of my favorite collaborators over the years was bridges alternative school in the Roaring Fork Valley. And their principal caught the vision, she wanted to have this training for all of her staff. And so she, she had to work quite hard to get it approved and set up. But she made it a part of their back to school induction training for the staff. And we like to have between 18 and 21 people per class. She had just under that. So she invited the community resource officer, she invited the the therapist who sometimes worked with the young people at the alternative school, she took all of the people in the community that were advocates for her students, and put them in one class, we ask that our collaborators provide the venue and the catering and they help us with our materials and registration. This principle cared so much that she cooked the meals for her staff and serve them lunch each day. She found the most comfortable chairs in the whole school and made sure that’s what her people were sitting in. And that’s how they started their school year was taking the three day class, and then deciding how they were going to apply and integrate that into the way they lead into how they confronted and they recognized and celebrated. And they became very mindful. And then as an alternative school, they hosted continuous learning sessions for us. Throughout the year, every time they did that their teachers were getting ongoing continuing education credit. But they also invited the community to come into that space alongside teachers to keep strengthening their skills, beautiful example of them achieving their own mission and vision, while also inviting the community to walk alongside them. And in doing so broke down barriers between community perceptions, the alternative school, and they also got needs of students met. So we never could have come up with that idea by ourselves. Yeah, that was excellent leadership within a collaborator that made everything that much richer,
Speaker 2 23:25
and letting us be flexible to figure out a way to meet their needs. So I could just see an Adam’s wife, you know, she’s a school teacher too. So I could just see like the principal going around, like testing out chairs. One’s gonna be soft about, maybe smell them and see if they smell okay to bring them back. Roll them down to everyone’s nice and comfy. So I just love that story. You’ve told me that story several times. And it always just makes my heart happy as an educator.
Adam Salgat 23:51
I do know her lead ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL, he was actually my seventh grade teacher back and you would do that kind of thing. He’s that kind of guy. So I shared before we shift gears a little bit and I asked you some questions to get to know you. I wanted to give you the opportunity to let everyone know how they could become a partner or you know a collaborator like you know, there might be someone out there who’s listening right now who owns a business or is the CEO of a nonprofit or you know just has a group of friends or people who are interested. What is the best way to to get in contact to find out more information use this as your 32nd sales pitch to get people to get people connected with us.
Speaker 3 24:44
Well, if you visit our website, which is linked to this podcast information at our community listens dot orc, there are the links that you need to find out more. But they can be as creative as you are. We had people who had a novel Prophet leaders in Texas and Kansas and Colorado, and they decided they were all going to meet up at one of our locations and do a team retreat while they took the class and have dinner together at night. But they wanted to come to our location to make that happen. Others have said, can we go and help them get the needs met, it’s a lot easier if you live in Colorado, Missouri, the Carolinas, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Oregon, because we have chapters in those areas. But reach out, and let us know. And let us see what we can do. The other thing is, while we wait for in person gatherings, to feel safe, again, we have a lot of virtual offerings. There will be some new exciting series being launched in April. And I won’t spoil the surprise right now. But it is a great way for us to be able to help teams connect wherever they are with some great new fresh training. And we can build upon that as we get ready for in person classes to resume. So I think make the ask Adam, that’s the question. If you are interested, make the ask. And know that we’re really interested in finding ways to equip people to strengthen their relationships at work and at home.
Speaker 2 26:23
Yeah, and I think I think that’s a great point, Sharon was like, just ask, and then let’s start the conversation to see okay, like, where are you? Are you on virtual? Are you in a place we can maybe get to? or have someone close? You know, what could we do maybe just in this timeframe, if you are still virtual, that we can support, there’s different things we’ve done for folks, there’s different pieces we’ve been able to put together. And what’s unique about this, I think Sharon would agree, it keeps us crisp, and innovative within the material in learning new ways and different ways to kind of bring stuff out that we really never thought of before, we always just kind of a thought inside this three day class box, you know, realize there’s a lot to it that we can still be doing. So that’s that’s exciting as well.
Speaker 3 27:13
It is. And you know, we’ve had teams where they have all taken the three day class and they want a refresher. And they’ve asked for a virtual refresher for a team to come together in that space, the brilliance of the virtual is that we really can meet you anywhere in that space. And sometimes once you kind of kindled the flames and people remember what it is that they learned. Mike, we were in a learning lab. Last month, weren’t we around listening. And we spent 30 minutes where people were practicing the same skills and kind of new scenarios, but in that space, and there were people in that learning lab who took our class seven years ago, and they were like, in that 30 minutes, I was in that space. Everything from class things I had forgotten, it all came back to me. Also in that learning lab, we had people who had never taken our in person class, they said they learned and absorbed so much from the people in their virtual breakout groups. And they want to take the in person class, they don’t even have to wait till then to start practicing the skills. Good things are happening in the virtual space. And so whether you’ve taken the class before or you haven’t taken the class, there are options for your team that we think can really add value and build connection, which we all need right now.
Adam Salgat 28:36
Congratulations on 10 years, by the way, that’s pretty awesome. Thank you. Over those 10 years, I’m sure you’ve had a number of stories come out from classes that you’ve taught either yourself or just heard through the grapevine. So I’m gonna ask you to try to narrow it down to one maybe two story of the ones that you find most impactful or most amazing, for lack of a perfect adjective here, but just the ones that really made you go wow, this is this is outstanding. I’m so happy that I had apartness. And I’m so happy that they have made of movement forward.
Speaker 3 29:21
You know, one of the things I love about our class is that it was originally designed to empower change from the ground up. So when those first classes were offered in Phillips, it wasn’t senior management that went first. It was the people on the factory floor. And as their leader saw a change in how they showed up their leaders were inspired to take the class in community, particularly in communities with very diverse demographics. You may have a class where you have a leader have industry whose personal net worth is millions, if not billions, sitting next to someone who, for them English is not their first language. In those classes, we’ve had people say, I’ve never taken a class that was taught in English before. This is a new experience for me. Wow. And it doesn’t matter what credentials you bring into the class. What matters in our class, is how you show up. As a truly human leader, I have loved watching people humbly learn from each other, how we forget about the titles, and the background. And we see the person in the moment, and we learn from each other. And as we learn each other’s stories, that breaks our preconceived stereotypes, and change happens. I’ve loved watching community classes where people say, I have lived here for decades. And in this three days, I actually remembered what it means to be part of a community. The blinders fall off our eyes, we see our fellow human as somebody who’s on this journey with us. And people show up for each other differently. I’ve loved the classes that were intergenerational, where we had octogenarian sitting alongside people who had just finished their first year of college. And the 85 year old grandfather is learning from the 19 year old and the 19 year old is learning from the older adults, it is powerful. And that’s what is so refreshing about this class, is that whatever stage you are in life, if you are open to learning new things, there are immediate takeaways that can help you improve your relationships at work, and at home. And that strengthens community, not just in one sector, but across the board potentially. So the catalyst for change is what really gets me excited. And the idea that with partners and collaborators, we can reach even more people, as they bring their head, hands and hearts to the table with us. It’s brilliant. That’s what keeps us moving ahead.
Adam Salgat 32:20
I really, I really love your comments about generations being there at the table at the same time and learning from each other. It it reminds me of my wife’s story when she took the class. And you know, she’s 30 something, an experienced teacher career. But she’s learned about her personality. And you know what, how she really thrives. And there was a 19 year old in her class, who was a waiter at one of the local restaurants, and they were put together. They were on a team together to accomplish a task. And she’s she, he was kind of in charge. You’re like taking some charge. And she said that is perfect, because he looked at her and hesitated because of the age. I’m sure. I guess I can’t guarantee it because he didn’t say, but he hesitated. Right? And she said no, go for it. I love directive, how me ABC what I need to do. And she she’s learned a lot about it too. And the idea that it showed where she can really thrive and he showed his skill sets being able to shine as well. So just It’s pretty amazing. When you think about like you a lot of little things don’t matter when you’re just looking at how can we work together? And what what way? Can we accomplish the same goal?
Speaker 2 33:42
Absolutely. I’m interested to ask you this. We work on so many teams together. Like we’re always crisis immediate. It’s just Which team are we meeting with? Right? So since COVID, hit like a year ago, pretty much we shut down about one year ago, with our classes in Utah, like literally one of the last classes that happened. While we’re all in St. Louis. What are some of the things you’ve learned that we can do virtually as far as our material or ideas that we’ve never considered before? Because we were just entrenched doing what we always did, because we were doing it? Well.
Speaker 3 34:30
There are a couple of things, Mike, where our thinking has definitely shifted one of them around the power of the three day in person class, we really do believe in that. And we know that people say oh my goodness, three days is so long. It’s so hard to do that. But it’s in that space of stepping away and pushing pause on other things that we allow ourselves to grow. However, when we realize what a privilege it is to be able to take three consecutive days and spend them in class, and how not everyone has that privilege and how many people cannot come to the table. Because it’s three consecutive days, that has inspired us as an organization to make changes. During this past year, we’ve been able to experiment a lot in the virtual space, and to see what kind of connection and learning can take place there. That will continue even when the in person classes resume, we would do we call them community builders in Colorado where after you take the class, you come together, and you do a skills refresher or continuous learning session. And, you know, sometimes loads of people will come, sometimes they can’t get away, because by the time they leave their office, and they travel there over the lunch break and get back to their office, there’s just no time, we have so many more ways for our alumni to connect and are yet to be alumni to connect our friends at Colorado Mountain College, whose campuses cover the size of the state of Maine, when you look at their whole service area, they had always said pre COVID, it is not respectful to ask people to travel two hours for a meeting, that’s going to be one hour, we need to use technology to honor that people’s time is valuable. Let’s meet wherever you are, have the meeting with all the right people, and then go back to our work. Right. So they were already on that trajectory. I think we’ve all learned to be smarter, right? How can we connect with people all over the country, we’ve had people from Australia, from Spain, from Switzerland from England, they’ve joined our calls to during this time. So what is the possibility when you take the lid off the jar of coming together? Learning that’s been really good for us in this time, and in this space. And I think we have a lot of learning to do. You know, as we continue, we have learning laps now where people can practice their effective confrontation skills. We can practice our disk skills, we can do other things where we come together, and just practice and it can be alumni from literally all over, getting to meet and network and interact. I’m excited to see us move forward in learning communities where we’re sharing our best practices that come from implementing these skills from being better and stronger together.
Adam Salgat 37:22
That’s awesome in like you said, I mean, a three day in person class is very impactful, but it is smart to use what is available to us. And then last year is evolved. And people are much more comfortable. You know, connecting via the computer, it it doesn’t be connecting in person still needs to happen in our lives. But the opportunity to share and the opportunity to grow can still happen in these kinds of formats as well.
Speaker 2 37:54
Yeah, I think about you know, we just did a we be share, I have Misty did a disk training with the group virtually, kind of in the St. Louis area and around. And it was fabulous. We had great evaluations and reviews, and they were really excited about it. We would have never thought to attempt that a year ago. And so it’s exciting to just learn, you know, sometimes we have to have the courage to just jump outside the box. You might not know this atom, but Shara also has another title as Queen of zoom. Because she kind of took it upon herself to learn zoom really well, like breakout rooms and how you do different things that we built a title called concierge of how you support people in the Zoom environment as well, too. So we’ve learned, I don’t know how much but we’ve made every mistake possible on Zoom. Except I can’t really say that because every time we do a zoom, we learned another mistake.
Adam Salgat 38:55
There’s always something to learn, right?
Speaker 3 38:57
Absolutely. It’s definitely a time to play an experiment as we we move forward together.
Adam Salgat 39:03
One of my last questions here is what skill have you found most beneficial for yourself and your family over the over the past 10 years?
Speaker 3 39:13
Depends on what day of the week it is because I get to try out a different skill all of the time. My mike, my COVID buddies are my husband and my daughter. My daughter is 26 My husband and I have been married, going on 29 years, they have both taken the class. So you know they can ask me things like that you teach a listening class, perhaps you could use some of those skills now right or, or my daughter and I have different opposite dis tendencies. And so I really do learn a lot from her and she stretches me in wonderful ways. I tell you, this is what I’m most excited about with my OCL skills. I was always envious of the people in the class who work And again, either because they were brand new parents, so you know, Adam with your five, two and a half and six month old baby, you get lots of chances to practice like fresh off, and I’m going to become a grandmother in May. And so I am going to have an opportunity to do my very best with my grandson to use all of these skills in new ways. So my son hasn’t taken the class yet, when the time is right, and he will do that, but I’m gonna get to practice the skills with that little life. And that is such a gift. I’m truly grateful for that.
Adam Salgat 40:38
Absolutely, yes. Congratulations.
Unknown Speaker 40:40
Adam Salgat 40:43
Alright, so as we wrap up our conversation today, let’s let’s focus back a little bit on the idea of partnerships. As always, we like to ask what is your key takeaway for our audience, whether it’s a challenge to them, or just something you want them to think about? As as they finish up the podcast.
Speaker 3 41:04
So our community listens has evolved a lot in the past 10 years, maybe you knew us in our early days, maybe you’ve taken classes more recently, maybe you’re hearing about us and you’re thinking I want to learn more, please know that we really do want to be able to reach as many people as possible in meaningful ways. And so if the idea of our curriculum could strengthen your organization as they reach their goals, their strategic plans, let’s have a conversation. Let’s see what it might look like to come together and work in new ways. Our partners have people who are trained to deliver the course within their own organization, with the view that not only serving their own organization, but at some point, they will open up space to others to the surrounding community, to to other organizations that are like them. So for example, some local governments are too small to do it themselves, but they would partner with others. So we’re looking for ways to expand capacity. We’re looking for people who are like minded, who want to grow with us, we also welcome invitations from collaborators who would like to host training and fund making that possible for their people. So have a patient reach out. And let’s see what possibilities we can discover together.
Speaker 2 42:35
My key takeaway Adam, as kind of circling back to what Sherif tells us all the time, that we have more to gain than we have to give. I love that no CL and it just kind of dawned on me, I probably need to do a better job of just living that inside my life. You know, whether it be with my own daughters, or my wife, or friends or family members, or just organizations that I work with, or belong to in my community as well, too. So thank you again for sharing that. Sure. What’s your key takeaway? Adam,
Adam Salgat 43:13
you do like to throw that back at me. My key takeaway is that the impact that our community lessons has had in the last 10 years is immense. And it is something that as an organization, I know, they want to make it even bigger, I already mentioned is a pretty large and impactful adjective, let’s say to put on that we want it to be more, right. We want it to reach the world. We want to find a way to to make a positive impact on everyone and show them that they can be a leader and that they that they matter. And everybody matters, right. So I think I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to continue to use the podcast in that space where where I have the biggest chance to make an impact. And that is what I’m looking forward to. And that’s kind of my key takeaway. Let’s continue to make impacts in the next 10 years. Let’s say this is not meant to be some type of you know, commemorative episode, but just the idea of knowing I share that 10 year mark. That’s awesome. And, again, congratulations. And I’d like to thank both of you for being on the podcast today.
Speaker 2 44:30
Absolutely. an add on a little bit of the excitement to we’re going to be highlighting different partnerships throughout the year, as we continue to go forward on the podcast series and show would make an excellent host of those partnerships. Don’t you agree?
Adam Salgat 44:47
Yes, I’d be happy to hear again.
Unknown Speaker 44:50
I would be delighted to join you. Thank you.
Adam Salgat 44:53
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