Delivering a Transformational Workshop, Part Three: Turning Your Ideas into Transformational Course Content

July 24, 2018

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What do I want to contribute, and how?


Welcome to part three of the Transformational Workshop Series. Be sure to read part one and part two.

 

In my June 2018 blog, I wrote about the exploring the question, “What would I love to create?” I hope you tried this out and discovered how remarkable this simple question is.

 

Recently a colleague called me for input on launching his healing business. His goal is to-make people’s lives better, but he hates promotion and networking. I told him to focus his materials on what would he love to contribute and to let his sharing in ads and social media radiate his sincere desire to make the lives of others healthier, integrated, and more joyous instead of on a hard sales or marketing pitch. This changes the attitude from wanting to get people to buy what they may not want to a generous sharing of something that they might find wonderful. 

 

This shift in perspective turned things around for him. He changed the way he shared what he was doing, and he found the response much more robust, and his personal experience far more satisfying. I also told him to aim for the people who want what he has to contribute. If you reach out to these folks, with a genuine desire to offer something great, these people will find you irresistible. This same principal applies to your workshop design: always keep in mind the people who will want your contribution. 

 

When you focus on last month’s question, “what would I love to create?” you can be sure it also will be something that will contribute to others. A beloved teacher of mine once said “The secret of happiness is locked in the heart of another.” Our fulfillment expands when we share it with others. Once you have explored, “what would I love to create?” you are in a better place to look at other key questions, such as, “what would I love to contribute?”

EXERCISE:

What Would I Love to Contribute in My Workshops?


Set aside at least a half-hour, and set a timer for no less than 5 minutes per each of the following questions. Don’t let your pen, or your fingers on the keyboard, stop until the timer goes off! If you need more time just reset your timer. 

  

1. What are the needs you see that you believe you can help fulfill?

What dissatisfaction or pain can you help alleviate? Understand that there are people out there waiting for your unique presence, knowledge, skills, and experience to help them. Those are the only people you want to help. The rest you can leave to others!

2. Be unflinchingly honest with yourself.

What have you practiced that has changed how you see life and helped you heal? What regular disciplines have you committed to? What has changed your HABITS such that you now have a new character that actually makes different, better choices than you did in the past? Be wary here. Sometimes we take a workshop and have insights that, however uplifting or inspiring, did NOT change our habits and choices. Don’t mistake inspiration for actual character transformation, and don’t settle for giving your students temporary “highs” that then begin to fade quickly.

3. Explore your unique contribution.

What do you have to offer that no one else can in the same way? In light of questions 1 and 2, what are the unique ways you can fulfill needs and alleviate dissatisfaction, fear, and suffering? How have you done it in your own life?

4. What teachers and workshops have inspired you?

How have they changed your life for the better? Chances are you wouldn’t want to be creating a workshop if you hadn’t experienced some that have made your life better. What did they give you? How did they change you? What has stuck with you and why? By focusing on your most impactful experiences as a student, you will get a better sense of what you want to offer as a teacher. It puts you in your highest, most expansive place.

5. What didn’t work in workshops you’ve attended?

How were you NOT contributed to? When I studied writing in college I was encouraged to also read bad writing. Exactly what made it bad? What fell flat? What felt dishonest or gimmicky? What “bad” things were the authors doing that I was also doing? (Some of which I had thought was quite “clever” on my part!) Reflect on your less-than-stellar workshop experiences. What didn’t work about the teacher’s presentation, content, and personal presence?

Once you have explored the above, hopefully in writing, you will have a much more grounded and powerful foundation of creation!


Finally, go back to parts One and Two of my Dream See Do blogs on creating transformational workshops, for tips on other aspects of course creation: Creating a Transformational Workshop: Basic Set up and Context and Turning Your Ideas into Transformational Course Content.


 

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Thomas Amelio