A Follow-Up From Francisco

To kick off this holiday weekend, we thought the Champions would enjoy hearing more from their friend, Francisco Gónima. Francisco was one of the speakers in Scottsdale at our educational event a few weeks ago. He inspired our Champions to ROAR and became a part of the A1C Champions tribe. Thank you, Francisco, for once again sharing your wisdom with us!

The Joys of Uncertainty or
“How I Spent My Summer Vacation with the A1C Champions”

Now that the amazing A1C Champions 2014 Educational Event is in the books, I have a confession to make- you all made me very nervous…and I liked it!

Here’s what I mean- when we talk about “A-Ha moments”, there is no speaker as capable of producing a-ha moments in an audience as much as the one who is wholeheartedly searching for them for themselves.  You see, when we encounter a new group of people from a place of absolute curiosity – a hunger for discovering the original stories, passions, tragedies and treasures that they contain – we inevitably connect at a level that enables us to tune in to them and speak into the heart of what they came searching for.

From the moment I made “first contact” with the A1C tribe upon arriving in Scottsdale, I was struck by how much variety there was among the Champions.  Tall southerners and short New Yorkers, retired executives and practicing teachers, writers and athletes…”how could I possibly offer a presentation that would be relevant to all of you given how diverse your come-froms are?”, I thought to myself.  As I got to know you though – at the welcome dinner visiting with Ann and Riva, during a break having a brief exchange beside the stage with Jose or Frank, or at lunch conversing with Sysy, Greg and others – it became ever more apparent that we shared a very big thing in common, a total commitment to reaching and teaching others to transform their lives.  That is a very special circle indeed that we stand inside of together.

One of my favorite pieces of wisdom as an educator is that “Certainty is the Enemy of Learning”.  When we are called as presenters to come share our message with any given audience, it can be awfully tempting to don the cloak of the master…to assume the certainty of the expert come to bestow knowledge.  The trouble with that is that when we do so we have traded our curiosity for that certainty and we don’t feel compelled to search for our audience members.  Who are they really? What is the question they’re dying to ask but are afraid to?  Who is the person in the room who came to have a breakthrough if only I can find them where they are and speak into the heart of what they came to uncover?  “A-HA!” says my inner voice as I look out from the stage and see you sitting there, second table from the left, your head nodding up and down in agreement with the last concept I just shared. “There you are…I found you!” Now we can really have the conversation we came to create together.

That is the great secret to creating a-ha moments in others, far more powerful than understanding the biomechanics of how learning happens in the brain, though together they are a dynamite one-two punch.  The degree to which we come to our audiences as learners, eager to discover them, to read what makes them unique and what shapes how they see the world and themselves in it, that is what allows us to almost effortlessly prompt them to connect the dots to powerful new learning.  Learning which can change a life.

As we talked about, each of us sees the world not as it is, but as we are.  When I came into the tribal circle of A1C Champions, I came hungry to learn what color your skies are and what calls each of you to this mission of health and empowerment for people living with diabetes on a daily basis.  What I never could have imagined was how enthusiastic, generous and hungry you all would be in kind.  So much so that you offered me a seat alongside of you right beside the fire, for which I am humbled and grateful.

So here’s one last fortune cookie for my friends on the path of learning – stay curious, stay nervous, and always come ready to discover the unique and powerful gathering of spirits that every new audience has the potential to become.  Do that, and you will not only leave behind a treasure trove of a-ha moments, you will experience an abundance of them yourself.

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