Maybe it’s because I’m the middle of seven kids that I’ve always seen myself as a facilitator.
When my kids ask me what I do, I tell them I am a bridge-builder, helping people find the best ways to connect their thoughts and feelings through conversation. The more contentious and complicated the ideas, the more exciting the challenge. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to helping people collaborate in the virtual world, where you have no visual cues to guide you. And, when you add in cultural and language differences, navigating through communications challenges has suddenly become a whole lot more interesting.
I feel lucky to love what I do. One reason is that my clients’ challenges are so varied, and we learn from each other all the time. As president of Guided Insights, I get to wear a bunch of different hats: Meeting facilitator, virtual leadership coach, facilitation skills trainer, business writer, workshop designer, cross-cultural communications consultant, keynote speaker, and more.
Most of the time, I work from the comfort of my home office, situated in a bucolic town northwest of Boston, where I can look out onto my back woods while I facilitate meetings, run virtual training workshops and participate in all kinds of calls with people around the world, day and night. (And sometimes I work with clients on location, wherever they are in the world.)
When I am not working for Guided Insights, I act as a facilitator for the Communities for Restorative Justice, working with youthful offenders who struggle to make reparations and get back on track. The foodie in me likes to teach cooking (Thai and Indonesian are specialties), serve elaborate dinners, grow my own vegetables, and impart my love of good food on anyone who’s willing to listen, including (sometimes) my kids.