by Cathy Lee

The Company recently conducted a 3-day strategic thinking workshop for managers. I was responsible for organizing the workshop and working with the facilitator towards our objective: assisting managers to understand and use strategic thinking tools. My role was to engineer an enabling learning environment and assist the facilitator by being a catalyst during group discussions. Additionally, I also had to assess the performance of the managers, spot high potentials and identify further development needs.

In the past, I would be quick to make judgement on people’s performance.

I’d have disregard managers who demonstrated any resistance to change or who were disinterested in engaging and participating, particularly when they seem slow in understanding concepts. Past workshops have seen ratings of 65% and less in terms of effectiveness and information usefulness and retention.

After attending the NLP Practitioner’s training, I now pay close attention to both the verbal and non-verbal cues of the group; I’m more open to seeing others’ perspectives.

I consciously hold judgement, am more aware of my own non-verbal cues and how I affect the group. I look for strengths and appreciate the diverse maps and mental models of each individual. I also take time to build rapport and carefully pre-frame each session of the workshop so people can focus and understand the concepts better.

In closing, I got the group to sponsor each other by giving a positive feedback and acknowledging an area of positive change demonstrated.

At the end of the session, people were mentally drained: 90% fully engaged and participated actively and 95% were receptive to the concepts presented. Everyone felt they had contributed in the sessions in some way or other.


Cathy Lee is a Human Resource Director with one of a largest beverage companies in the industry. She is responsible for the development of human resource strategies and implementation of leading edge human resource practices. She received Mind Transformations’ NLP Practitioner Certification in December 2002.

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