Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Follow up to networking with a difference

Last week a group of twelve of us meet in 'Dreaming' for an alternative networking session.

We started with a warm up using clay, a simple and effective process to settle people into a session and build group repor and respect.
Everyone is invited to take some clay, as much or as little as they want. Then sitting in a circle everyone rolled their clay into a ball. After a short time I asked everyone to offer their clay ball to the person sitting on the left. Being clear that no one moulded or shaped someone else's 'clay ball' (a group of women with these instructions are fine but with teenage boys and mixed adult group I slightly rephrase the instructions!). The group passed the clay ball around noticing how each of them felt; wet, dry, warm, hot, cold, heavy, light, etc. We passed the clay balls around until our own returned to us. People commented on how different some of the balls felt. The clay was returned to the materials table.

Then I asked everyone to sit comfortably and I facilitated a deep relaxation followed by a guided visualisation which lasted for thirty minutes.

After bringing people back to the room I invited the participants to create something from their relaxation or guided visualisation using a broad range of art materials. The group did not need any encouragement they got stuck in there. It was fantastic to watch these business women accessing their creativity.

After the set amount of time everyone was brought back into the circle and asked to share their work. Being clear that if they did not want to that was okay to.

I was fascinated several of the women had not done anything like this before but what they produced was visually lovely, colourful and they had just started the task without thinking about it (the powerful connection in the grounding relaxation facilitates participants getting out of their own way to just start often with surprising results). Everyone really enjoyed the relaxation.

After sharing the artwork I got people to introduce themselves say who they were, what their business was and involved. It was great to have consciously left this to the end as it removed any conditions on the coming together of the group. We meet as a group, got connected and then discovered some more about each other.

Then we had some light refreshments, chatted for a while and all headed home.

If you would like me to work with you, your business, a network, community group, club, etc please get in touch.

Some feedback I have gotten since:

"I just wanted to thank you very much for a fantastic evening on Tuesday. I had a brilliant time. The format of the evening was great and I really hope you do many more of them. It was such an escape from the daily grind and it really spurred me on to get my creative juices flowing again." via email Linda, business owner manager.

"session the other night was very enjoyable. Thanks." via text Gillian, business owner.

I have developed this type of workshop over the past twenty years. Combining my facilitation and training experience with my creative skills, study in art therapy, my ability to prompt others creativity and build connections. If you would like to use the ideas or workshop outlined above feel free too but please credit it to Roisin Markham and Ballygarrett Art Studios. Also if you do use the ideas you find here let me know how you got on with them.

If you are interested in attending a training session on how to facilitate workshops like this contact me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday 18th August: Women in Business Summer Networking Events

Final details for the Women in Business informal network event happening next week near Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Tuesday 18th August: Crash the artistic scene with Women in Business and entrepreneur's down time.
7.30pm -9.30pm
Location: ‘Dreaming’, Donaghmore House, Ballygarrett, Gorey, Co. Wexford [see map].

CREATIVE FUN with Roisin Markham, Ballygarrett Art Studio.

Sessions starts with deep relaxation then enjoy the creative path and immerse yourself in fun with lots of art materials.

This session is a really good stress reliever. Call a halt to trying to do it all. The way I design the workshop is with a gentle process of relaxation to start. Easing the brain to stop thinking about work and just switch off.

Choosing to relax, meet others and enjoy yourself you automatically give yourself a break from all of the things on your agenda. By networking with other women in business you see what life is like in other businesses in your geographical area. What are other women doing? How are they doing it? What are their challenges and how are they managing them?

The art materials are a bit of fun they get you doing something different, using colour, using your hands, doing something completely different from your typical work schedule. The use of the materials is more processed then product based. The workshop requires a willingness to engage and nothing else. For those that run their own business doing something process rather than result orientated is a fantastic and freeing exercise. So no experience is required in art. In fact if you shudder at the thought of using art materials then this workshop is a perfect introduction to engaging in a different creative process. Just 'do it'.

By trying something different and new you stretch your imagination in a different direction. By flexing your creative muscle differently to how you would typically stretch it in your business environment you create new connections and links in your brain that facilitate creative thinking and solution generation on different levels.

There are also the added mutual benefits of being in a group, seeing what happens, how others interact with materials, inspiration and often unexpected dynamic outcomes.

You’ll go back to work Wednesday morning feeling great and ready for any challenges that come your way.

The session will be followed by light refreshments.

Please book & pay; €25 for session (includes light refreshments).
Bookings can be emailed: ballygarrettartstudio [@] gmail . com
Payment by cheque to Roisin Markham and can be posted to
Ballygarrett Art Studio, Templederry Lane, Ballygarrett, Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Any questions call Roisin on 086.1546163 or send her an email.

All women in business in the South East are welcome to attend, if you are not in the South East and would like to attend your welcome to come. Book & pay plus let me know if you would like a list of suggested places to stay. Or alternatively invite me to your area and network.

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