Grab a pen and a notebook and a quiet spot, and let Veronica and Kevan guide you through an audio-facilitated reflection on your year. This interactive episode of Change is in the Making is designed to help create the space for you to better understand how you want to show up in the year ahead.
A Guided Reflection: Looking back through the past year
Domain7’s Facilitation Practice Lead, Kevan brings wisdom from over a decade of experience leading award-winning digital strategies for a wide variety of institutions and businesses. A seasoned and engaging facilitator and speaker who has been with Domain7 since 2010, Kevan has helped shape our collaborative and people-centric culture. He’s studied design thinking and innovation processes at the THNK School of Creative Leadership.
Veronica is Domain7's Brand and Editorial Director, exploring themes around digital making and human flourishing. A creative leader with rich experience in brand and storytelling for tech, social purpose, and higher education, Veronica enjoys cultivating a deeper understanding of how contemporary technologies can aid and support healthy human connection and create new spaces for meaning to emerge.
Kevan: Welcome to Change is in the Making, the podcast from Domain7. I’m Kevan Gilbert…
Veronica: …and I’m Veronica Collins, and together we’ll be discussing themes of connection-making and culture-shaping, delving into how to create meaningful change — from a business standpoint and a human perspective.
Kevan: So let’s get started! Today we’re going to be reflecting. This is where instead of you simply staying as a passive recipient of podcast transmissions, you get to be a participant. We’re going to take you an interactive tour of your subconscious.
V: Our vision for today is to help create the space for reflection. This is the season that many of us use to think over the past year and create goals for the future. In this episode, we want to step into that space with you, with some helpful prompts to take you through a guided reflection.
K: Here’s how it will work. First, you’ll need to set yourself up with what you’ll want for doing a bit of reflecting. For us, we’d recommend getting a notebook and a pen, and taking yourself to a quiet spot where you can be undisturbed for about 45 minutes.
V: Once you’ve collected some writing materials and found a good space, we’ll begin by talking through a topic area, and then ask you a question to consider. At that point, we’ll suggest that you press pause. Take all the time you need to with responses that arise. And when you’re done, press play, and come back for the next prompt.
K: You’re going back in time. Over the course of your year. If you’re listening in the winter, you can slide back a few months to the fall. November, back to October, to September. You can remember where you were in August, as summer ended. Through July…back to June..and into the spring. And pretty soon you’re back at the beginning of the year, in January. Where were you on January 1?
V: You can consider the places you spent time this year, the people you spent time with.
The projects you were on, the things you created or produced, the things you consumed. Consider making a free-flowing list of the year’s notable elements, activities, memories, experiences. These don’t have to be all positive. Let them be what they were. If you’re ready, press pause and create your list. Or word cloud, however you’d most naturally do this. Give yourself as much time as you like. You can press play again whenever you’re ready.
K: Welcome back. Now that you have your list, we are going to employ a technique called Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative inquiry is about turning our attention to the bright spots, so we can understand what went well, and what enabled that success. There’s a saying: “An organization changes in the direction in which it inquires.” When we turn that lens on our selves and our own lives, it’s often surprising to see what patterns emerge that we can choose to pursue on purpose.
V: As a first a step in this process, we encourage you to look back over the list you just made of the year. See if you can notice: what moments did you feel the most alive? Perhaps another phrase works for you here: Where did you feel like you were most yourself, or find the most joy? Where were you doing something that mattered to you. When did you see yourself light up, or where did your unique contributions seem to be especially meaningful or needed?
K: And as you look at that list of places and things and people that lit you up, you can also ask yourself this question: What conditions enabled that? Was it the people, the organization, the day of the week, or some other mysterious factor.
You ready? We’ll repeat the instructions: Reflecting on the year, where did you feel most alive, and what conditions enabled that?
V: Now you can choose to press pause and reflect. Come back whenever you’re ready. Take as long as you like.
V: Welcome back.
Obviously, every year in our life contains unique challenges. We want to give you the space to acknowledge those elements, too.
What were times when you found yourself at a loss? A little unsure of what was needed from you. What were the parts that were hard, the most stressful, the most difficult? Let’s welcome those moments into this as well. Take some notes now on what has taken your energy this year, and not in a way you’ve welcomed. You can press pause while you reflect on this question.
K: Take a deep breath. Look around. Take in your surroundings. You’ve written about what made you alive this year. We’ve talked about what made you feel un-alive. Now, what’s next? When you think of the future, what’s possible? What you think of doing more of what you love, what does that look like? This is the present moment. What can you influence right now to make more “best moments?”
V: And one more essential thing: who are the people that you’ll need on your journey ahead? As you make your list of what you can influence, take a moment to see your companions and partners. Who is your community? What’s the support you’ll need from trusted individuals, and how can you also be there for them in the coming year? Are there circles of mutual friendship and partnership to be acknowledged and strengthened in the next season?
When you’re ready, you can pause and reflect on the future you want to grow into, and the community that supports that growth.
K: You have now created a list, and on it are the elements you can influence next, and the people you might want to partner with. You created this by retracing your steps this year, and looking for the spots where you were lit up. You asked yourself what conditions enabled that. And you also looked at what took your energy this year.
This would be a good time to pause one last time, and take a few moments to do a bit of a “check out.” Is there an area you want to dig into a little more deeply? Are there elements you want to turn into action items, or people you want to reach out to next to book a conversation? What intentions are you taking away from this? Feel free to take a few moments to close out your reflection and bring yourself back into the rest of your day. You can press pause while you do this, and come on back when you’re ready.
V: That brings us to the end of our episode today. If you’re curious about appreciative inquiry and intentional listening, you might want to explore Domain7’s toolkit for organizational discovery. We’ve put together a collection of practical resources and links for our podcast listeners. If you’re leading change initiatives you might find this collection especially valuable. You’ll find this collection at domain7.com/podcast — where you can also get in touch with us, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on social channels. That’s domain7.com/podcast.
K: This episode was written and produced by me, with additional writing and editorial oversight by Veronica Collins.
V: Our team lead Sarah Butterworth helps create the space for creative endeavours like this podcast, and the Domain7 culture as a whole provides incredible support. Domain7 is a global agency working to transform systems and culture through people-centric methods — learn more at Domain7.com.
V: Lastly, we want to thank you, our community of Change is in the Making listeners. As we reflect on the past year, creating this podcast has been a learning journey, and we’re grateful for all of you listening. Thank you for sharing your time with us. A special thank you to those of you who’ve provided feedback along the way. We welcome it. If you haven’t already, please send us your thoughts on this and other episodes.
Thanks again for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
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