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The Change Designs Blog is a collection of insights, personal stories and real life experiences from people working in organizations. In this blog you will find real life stories depicting magical experiences and struggles, where the truth is richer, stranger and more practical than any theory or model. If you've ever wanted to read the diary of a leader, strategist, change agent, consultant, facilitator or a coach, or you are grappling with problems at work, then you will enjoy reading this practical blog.

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How to create a magical moment.

Ruth Tearle - Monday, January 23, 2012
Magical moments are addictive. Any facilitator who has experienced a magical moment with one group, will want to repeat that wonderful experience. So, what entices a magical moment? How can one create more magical moments when working with any team?

One thing I have noticed is that when a group of people realise they are being appreciated, they begin to open up. To trust one another. They get energised and creative. They contribute more.

"By Appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property." Voltaire

They begin to achieve more than they ever imagined possible. Their self confidence grows. They get excited about tacking greater challenges. And they share that excitement with others. And magical moments occur.

Focus on discovering what makes people special.

Discovering what makes people special is a game that I play. Talents are easy to play when a person is open and confident. But often the gold in a person is  hidden, not only from others, but even from the individual himself. The more difficult, cynical or attacking a person is, the harder I know I have to work to uncover his/her special talent.

It doesn’t matter what event I am running. It could be a formal corporate strategic planning session at executive level, or a session to get middle managers to buy into an unpopular change, or working with supervisors in branches or divisions. I have to do a number of things to entice individuals to reveal their special talents.


Entice people to reveal their hidden talents.

I try to get people to shine in any session by:

Creating a space where people feel free.

I try to ensure a quiet, spacious room, where people are free to move around.  A space where people are not distracted in any way by what is happening to others outside of the room. This often means asking people to switch off  their cell phones, iPads or laptops. It also means holding the session away from an office, so senior managers cannot easily call people out of the session.

Creating a space where people feel comfortable.

This means taking care that everything about the event shows the delegates that they are valued and special. This includes:

  • Comfortable tables and chairs in a clean, well maintained venue.
  • Quality air conditioning that the group can control.
  • Ensuring that people with special dietary needs have been catered for.

Creating a space where people feel appreciated.

This means ensuring the workshop or event feels different from their normal office environment. To do this, I try to provide out of the ordinary refreshments that tell the group that their company values them. This could be as simple as muffins and cappuccinos when they usually get biscuits and instant coffee, or quality meals when they usually get sandwiches, or providing refreshments around the event’s theme. I ensure the venue is decorated with an exciting theme, and play music. I also try to get the leader to show his group that he appreciates them in some way. E.g. with a symbolic gift, or by opening the workshop in an inspiring way.

Creating a space where people can be themselves.

This means creating an environment that encourages people to participate and to ‘play’. Before the event, I create a series of activities that encourage people to solve serious problems in creative ways.  Ways that allow people to sing, dance, analyse, play, act, draw, write stories or poems, and show off their special talents, whilst they achieve their goal.

Appreciating what ma

I believe that every person is special.

Everyone has some unique gift.

kes an individual or group special.

When I see something special in a person, or a group, I comment on their talent in front of the group. I look out for wise sayings or quotable quotes from individuals. When I see a group laughing, or having a high energy, I try to find out what lies behind their excitement. I look for acts of courage, a creative way of solving a problem or presenting a result. Then I explain to the group as a whole why what they said or did was special, and often reinforce this with a gift. I usuall give a set of inspirational cards that reinforces the theme or topic we are working with.

I find that they more I seek out and recognise what is special within people, the more energised and excited the group becomes.  And the more magical moments simply occur.

At the end of workshops like these, the groups comment on how they can’t believe how easy it was for them to achieve more than they believed possible, and to do so whilst having fun.

Discussion : Comment.

What specific things do you do to create an environment within which people are able to discover and to use, what makes them special.

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