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Archive for the ‘Confidence Course Facilitator’ Category

Be Prepared

In Active Learning, Aha!, Confidence Course Facilitator, CPR and First Aid, Epiphanies, Leave Your Comfort Zone on September 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Long before Doomsday Preppers and the Disney’s movie The Lion King with its sinister lyrics to the song Be Prepared, there was Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship by Lord Baden-Powell. More recent television and movies based on the theme of preparedness include the 20 or so shows listed here: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/20-best-prepper-survivalist-shows-netflix/

What is it about our fascination with survival? Why do so many people worry about the so-called “End of Days” or why has the Center for Disease Control prepared with such vigor for a Zombie Apocalypse? The answer to these last two questions continues to evade me.

That said …

With a quick walk about my cabin, I found evidence for my own preparedness. Two examples …

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Yep, I must admit that I've found some interesting reading while preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Yep, I must admit that I’ve found some interesting reading while preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Recently I was called on to perform a “pick off” at the place where I work as a senior challenge course facilitator. Now before anyone gets upset or over reacts, the climber was unharmed and in fact wanted to immediately try again to climb our Alpine Tower. There were no cuts, no bruises, no harm, no foul — and this climber successfully re-climbed our tower to the first platform!

One more thing … I’m not posting this article today in pursuit of any congratulatory praise. My role in this incident was simply a part of my job — like a fireman who might climb a ladder to rescue a kitten from a tree. But we learn and re-learn from such drills. I know that I’m going back to work soon to inventory the gear that’s in that rescue bag.

Hmmm ... What should I grab from this rescue bag to perform a successful  "pick off?"

Hmmm … What should I grab from this rescue bag to perform a successful “pick off?”

Okay … I’ve delayed enough. Here’s the real reason for this post …

When you think of the motto: “Be Prepared,” what comes to mind? Are you someone who thinks through the various scenarios of your day mentally rehearsing your options and thinking about how you’d like to respond to the day’s challenges? When was the last time you checked the glovebox of your car for a first aid kit? When was the last time you inspected the fire extinguisher that’s under your kitchen sink for that stovetop fire should those fried chicken wings get a little too crispy on game day? And if someone were to choke on one of those wings — due to their food going down the wrong pipe after their favorite team scores a touchdown — do you know how to dislodge it? When was the last time you enrolled in a Red Cross First Aid course?

Today I invite you to take one small step toward preventing a future accident or incident. Restock your first aid kit that’s in the trunk of your car. Check the batteries that power your smoke and/or CO2 detectors in your house and home. Prepare a list of supplies that you’ll purchase before the start of autumn in preparation for winter. (Note: Buy now before the merchants artificially raise their prices for the pre-winter rush.)

Be prepared.

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The Wall Banger … Where’s Harvey?!

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone on August 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm
And the OC says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to 'The Wall Banger'." To which one participant replies, "Where's Harvey?"

And the OC says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to ‘The Wall Banger’.” To which one participant replies, “Where’s Harvey?”

Recently I had the honor and privilege of serving as the “officer-in-charge” at the Thayer Leader Development Group’s “Leader Reaction Course.” While at West Point, two groups of corporate executives were put through their paces in team-building and executive decision-making.

So what makes experiential learning so effective? There are many reasons …

a) Leadership is best picked up in an experiential, hands-on setting. You can read about the HOW TOs and you can study how others may act in situations of high stress when faced by a challenge. But there’s nothing like being faced with a challenge — in the moment — with working with others and deciding what makes for the group’s next steps.

b) Reality trumps virtual reality 99 times out of 100. How do you gain experience? You make mistakes and learn from them. “Plan-Prepare-Execute-Learn” is the cycle that can only be appreciated when you’re doing and being versus just thinking about it.

c) When navigating through a challenge course, ropes course, or reaction course — you see the results of your thinking and decisions directly and in real time. Positive and negative results are revealed within minutes if not seconds of your decision. If you’re luck to have a trained “observer-controller” or OC / coach working with you during this experience, then they can help you see and understand the good, the bad, and the ugly consequences of your actions.

As for items d) … through z), these may be the topics for future posts here or on Linked In.

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John Lesko is a certified professional facilitator and leadership coach. He’s a graduate of the school of hard knocks and an adjunct faculty member of the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. He also hangs with the staff at The EDGE at Mason. To learn more, comment here or send an e-mail to <John@JohnLesko.Biz>.

Hospital Resident Physicians Leave Their Comfort Zone

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, Leave Your Comfort Zone on June 25, 2015 at 4:53 pm

When as a group facilitator / leadership coach you find yourself surrounded by talented, well-educated, and highly-skilled professionals; sometimes the best principle to follow is, “First, do no harm.”

Yesterday, I had the unique privilege to lead a group of hospital resident physicians through a number of challenges at the Mason Center for Outdoor Experiential Learning. This group of Army doctors opted to spend a little of their ‘free time’ away from 80-hour weeks and making hospital rounds at The EDGE.

Walter Reed Residents at The EDGE.003

 

Walter Reed Residents at The EDGE.002

 

Walter Reed Residents at The EDGE.001

 

Working with these doctors-in-training was a treat. Watching them accept each and every challenge presented and then meeting and exceeding all expectations has reassured this Army veteran that our troopers and their families are in good hands. Here’s hoping that this group of doctors feels the same way about their visit to The EDGE.

It’s Like Riding a Bike: Highlights from the MAFN DC Workshop, May 29

In Active Learning, Coaching, Confidence Course Facilitator, Facilitating Genius, facilitation skills, High Ropes Course, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network, teamwork on June 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Here are select images from last week’s MAFN DC Workshop. Most of these images are from my slide deck. A few were taken with my iPhone camera, e.g., participants passing the hula hoop and the props carried in a MAFN backpack. For those who attended this event, please consider taking your clients outside and perhaps to a challenge course such as “The EDGE.” For those who missed out on this workshop, drop me a line and I’ll fill you in on what you missed. JL

 

 

MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.001MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.003MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.005MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.007MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.010MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.012MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.013MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.014IMG_5036 IMG_5038MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.020 MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.023 MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.029 MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.031 MAFN DC Workshop May 29_2015.033

All the props fit into a small backpack.

All the props fit into a small backpack.

Total Value Commitment

In Confidence Course Facilitator, facilitation skills, High Ropes Course, Leave Your Comfort Zone, teamwork on April 19, 2014 at 12:57 am

100 percent
effort toward group success.
Total commitment.

NYC CPC group balances the 360-degree Whale Watch.

NYC CPC group balances the 360-degree Whale Watch.

NYC CPC group accepts the Total Value Commitment.

NYC CPC group accepts the Total Value Commitment.

Yes we can! (roughly translated into Cantonese).

Yes we can! (roughly translated into Cantonese).

The key component to the Total Value Commitment hinges on everyone's dedication to group success.

The key component to the Total Value Commitment hinges on everyone’s dedication to group success.

Sticks, Hoops, and a Little Rope

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, High Ropes Course, How To, Leave Your Comfort Zone, teamwork on April 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

While attending the International Association of Facilitators North American Conference, I had the privilege to lead a workshop entitled: “It’s Like Riding a Bike.” This workshop focused on the importance and value of experiential learning and of designing icebreaker & energizer exercises with a purpose. Here are images from that workshop, offered in fulfillment of the promise I made to all who attended on Saturday, April 12, 2014, to share these posters and my handout in electronic form.

Fig 1 - It's Like Riding a Bike ... This poster was displayed at the entrance to our conference room.

Fig 1 – It’s Like Riding a Bike … This poster was displayed at the entrance to our conference room.

Fig 2 - Topographic Map which served as our  Agenda

Fig 2 – Topographic Map which served as our Agenda

Fig 3 - Get Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Learn)

Fig 3 – Get Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Learn)

Fig 4 - One can climb an Alpine Tower at The EDGE

Fig 4 – One can climb an Alpine Tower at The EDGE

Fig 5 - Elements of a Full Value Commitment

Fig 5 – Elements of a Full Value Commitment

Fig 6 - Challenge by Choice

Fig 6 – Challenge by Choice

Fig 7 - Reinforce 'Challenge by Choice' via a Call and Response

Fig 7 – Reinforce ‘Challenge by Choice’ via a Call and Response

Fig 8 - 'Expedition Thinking' serves as a useful analogy for many teams and groups

Fig 8 – ‘Expedition Thinking’ serves as a useful analogy for many teams and groups

Fig 9 - Don't Forget the Refreshments

Fig 9 – Don’t Forget the Refreshments

Fig 10 - ItsLikeRidingaBike (Handout)

Fig 10 – ItsLikeRidingaBike (Handout)

ItsLikeRidingaBike <= Handout as a PDF-document.

NOTE: Anyone wishing more information about the six team-building activities we did using those STICKS, HOOPS, and a little ROPE should leave a comment here or e-mail John@JohnLesko.Biz

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Sticks, hoops, and some rope;
simple tools needed for growth.
Experience it.

Start pedaling

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, Current Events, facilitation skills, High Ropes Course, How To on April 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

It’s like a bike ride. | You never really forget. | Just start pedaling.

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Hosted a wonderfully productive workshop at the IAFNA 2014 conference. A good time was had by all. And the course evaluations were flattering. Hmmm … Perhaps I should repeat this at MAFN or out at the EDGE.

ACCT certification training

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, High Ropes Course, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, teamwork on March 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm
Here's a panoramic view of my colleagues and friends from The EDGE taken at the end of our ACCT-certification training.

Here’s a panoramic view of my colleagues and friends from The EDGE taken at the end of our ACCT-certification training.

ACCT = Association for Challenge Course Technology

The EDGE

THINK OUTSIDE (No Box Required)

In Cartooning, Confidence Course Facilitator, High Ropes Course, Leave Your Comfort Zone on December 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm
Try to take in some exercise & some fresh air between shopping and all those holiday gatherings. #ThinkOutside

Try to take in some exercise & some fresh air between shopping and all those holiday gatherings. #ThinkOutside

Imagine what we could accomplish if …

In Active Learning, Active Listening, Alignment, Communication, Confidence Course Facilitator, Facilitating Genius, Innovation, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone, teamwork on October 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Imagine what we could accomplish if we simply got everyone 'all aboard.'

Imagine what we could accomplish if we simply got everyone ‘all aboard.’

There’s an activity used at many challenge courses called the “All Aboard.” Envision in your mind’s eye a set of platforms that vary from 3-foot x 3-foot, down to say a square foot. Have a group of participants figure out a way to balance themselves on this platform. Now imagine an even smaller platform like the one in this photo. No, I’m not asking how many angels might dance on the head of a pin. Yes, I am asking that one imagine what could be accomplished is we all got our thoughts aligned and ‘all aboard’ with a shared goal or intention.