Who’s speaking whom?

I’ve got a new favourite Landmark Education course: the one I did last weekend.

It’s called the Communication: Access to Power course, the first of two communication courses the course leader said they jokingly call The Curriculum for Loving (in contrast to the three more famous Landmark courses, beginning with the Landmark Forum, which together are known as The Curriculum for Living).

The course was packed with insights and revelations, and I’ll be dining on its intellectual and spiritual nourishment for years to come.

My week since has been exhilarating. Everything I’ve touched has turned to gold, every word I’ve uttered, turned to good. I’ll say much more about this matter of “word” in posts to come. For now, I want to share one small and telling incident.

***

One of the tasks I’m currently responsible for is training 200 staff in the use of a tablet computer. The staff are based in different locations throughout the state, and most have never used a computer in their work. They are predominantly men, aged 40 to 60; we’ve even got a couple in their 70s (they’re the young-looking ones).

I’m ultimately responsible for the success of the project, and my task is to have the staff agree to come to the city for training, to have them turn up, and do so on time, and to have them get what they need to use the computer in their daily work. In some cases, it includes asking them to drive three hours to the city and three hours back for a two-hour training session, and having them arrange someone else to cover their job while they’re away for the day.

We’ve learnt through trial and error that 10 participants is the maximum we want in each training session. With 200 staff to train, this means we’re running 20 sessions. Not only do I want this training finished by the deadline in June, I want it finished early. Because we’ve got other stuff to do.

Now, last week we had one training session scheduled for Thursday. On the Monday afternoon, I had only 5 participants lined up and my colleague asked me,

What’s the likelihood of us having 10 participants on Thursday?

In the past, if someone had asked me such a question, I would have hemmed and hawed and said something like, “Well, we’ll try to have 10.”

This time it was different. This time I said, without thinking,

We will have 10 participants in the session on Thursday.

***

A few minutes later I rang a man called C to invite him to one of three training sessions. I had called this man several times before, and sent several emails, and had never received a reply. This time he answered.

I told him the three dates and asked him which would suit him. At first he said none of them because he had commitments on each day. I talked to him a bit more, telling him what some of the other staff had been finding about the training including how they’d been pleased about some online forms. He asks, “What’s the benefit of that?” and I say

Well, you don’t have to carry around all the heavy paper forms.

I heard the change in his manner, and sure enough, he started saying, “Mmm, maybe I can move the appointment …”  He said he’d check and call me back. He called me back in a few minutes and straight up, he says,

Yes, I can come in for training, and I can come in on Thursday if that suits you. Oh, and by the way, I’ve got my colleague, D, here who I can bring along too.

Now D was another I’d been trying to contact for weeks. So I say, “Yes, great!” and then C says,

Actually, I’ve also got M here and he wants to do it too. And if you can squeeze in two others, I’ve got L and J who can come with us.

And, bingo, there were my 10 participants! All done in one phone call, and all organised by C, without any effort on my part.

When I walked into the training venue on Thursday, they were all there waiting for me, 15 minutes early.

***

In the Communication course last weekend, the course leader – the wonderful Marcelle Bernard – said we would have the experience of having our words come out of another person’s mouth. I got this in spades this week. What I also got was the experience of having my words come out of my mouth.

***

For more information about Landmark Education’s courses, click here.

Image: The “Yep, it’s a busker” busker outside David Jones in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne, a few weeks ago. Notice his stack of sheet music, his chimney hat, his grey plait and the two silent observers (courtesy of my trusty iPhone)

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14 thoughts on “Who’s speaking whom?

  1. Glad the course has been so beneficial. I’m a strong believer in expect good things and they will happen and it starts with positive discourse. Don’t forget to include stuff you say to yourself as well!

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    • Great point. The stuff we say to ourselves is extra important. These Landmark courses are so beneficial, and magical and thrilling. I keep hearing cultural commentators talking about a new favourite concept: the re-enchantment of everyday life. This is what Landmark gives me. A sense of the magic and enchantment of my life.

      Like

  2. The same for me! the word is the world, doing a sales marketing and leadership course straight after the communication was stimulating. But I have no product or company to market. As I waited for a new friend to check her emails, at the end, she showed me an online coffee company. I signed up there and then.
    Now there is another way to be my word. I find it interesting the resistance I have to doing something suggested by others. How beneficial the Communication Course would have been 6 months ago!!

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  3. Hi SGC!

    I just read that Australian actor Bill Hunter died. Remembered him as Muriel’s father with his political motto, “you can’t stop progress”…then I thought of you…

    hope you are well!

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    • Hi Jenny,

      Yes, poor old Bill has gone to the big Porpoise Spit in the sky. I’m sure I should feel disturbed he or his motto reminded you of me. Maybe you were catching the distant emanations of my brush with the man when, many years ago, he cast horribly lascivious looks my way in the fruit and vegetable department of Coles supermarket in Bondi. “yeeeuch,” I thought, “take a good look at yourself.”

      I’m very well. If you’re wondering why no blog action I think it’s cos haven’t yet chosen where to go next. A change seems required, but not yet formed. Fiction is paling, reality suddenly fascinating, nothing seems as worth talking about as transformation. But a blog by a zealot? So de trop.

      How’s Chicago life with you and yours?

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      • Nah, you shouldn’t be disturbed. It was just a general Australia connection. I don’t have many of them. But, I do love that movie.

        Chicago is fine. Finally warm.

        I look forward to what you have to say about transformation. Kafka had a few thoughts about it…. :)

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  4. Hi Narelle, I stumble on your blog while googling for Landmark communication course. What magic you have created with the power of word!

    You seem to be very well verse with the Landmark curriculum, so I want to ask if you have done the ILP. If so, what’s your thought on it? I heard that there are very good reasons to do it and also very good reasons not to do it. If I choose to do it, it’ll be in a new country where I know few people, while I’m struggling to make money to support myself. Any insights?

    Much love and gratitude,
    Emily

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    • Hi Emily. Thanks for appreciating the post. Did you just do the communication course? How was it for you?

      I have done ILP, and it’s a challenging program. I did it resisting, and I made it painful for myself. Others who did it with me breezed through it. It’s like a mirror: it reflects back who one is being.

      It comes down to what you want from it. If you want to become a leader and make transformation available to others, it’s the program to do. For anything else, there are other programs.

      Yours in possibility,
      Narelle xx

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    • One other thing … when I was doing ILP I went into the Centre one Saturday to assist at an event, and the leader of the event, a man I really admired said this thing to us when we were getting ready. It’s still one of the most enrolling things I’ve ever heard. He said this: “When you’re doing ILP, you’ll get benefits immediately. Things will be different. But one day, about five years from now, you’ll really get it. On that day you’ll walk into a room, and everyone’s head will turn in your direction, and people will say to themselves, ‘Who’s that?'”

      I’m about to have my five-year anniversary and I’m expecting big things :)

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      • Wow! Thanks so much Narelle! That’s a powerful and enrolling thing that your leader said. Thanks for sharing so generously and for your insights.

        I haven’t done the communication course yet. I was just googling about it… wondering if doing the communication course would suffice, or I should take a bigger bite and do the ILP :D

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      • Best wishes whichever course you choose, Emily. This is one of the great things about Landmark to me: whichever course I’m in, I get so much that enriches and excites me and is immediately applicable to what I’m dealing with. I’m in week 9 of the Sex and Intimacy seminar, and the question of intimacy is everywhere i look, with family, friends, and most of all, unexpectedly, my business.

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