Speaking of Hope

In an evening devoted to experiencing the variety of advanced manuals, Jeffer facilitated an extended look at how to use the Round Robin exercise of the Discussion Leader Advanced Manual, to explore how to find hope, in these troubled times.

Hope, Explained

img_2555Researchers say hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. For teams, it means they confidently expect a positive future.

Positive psychologist Charles Richard Snyder’s explains how hope impacts all aspects of life, from health, to work, to education and personal meaning. He also offers a simple recipe to have more hopeful thinking. We are more hopeful when we have: hope-3-part-recipe

Goals – Approaching life in a goal-oriented way.

Pathways – Finding different ways to achieve your goals.

Agency – Believing that you can instigate change and achieve these goals.

Personal Views on Creating Hope

We heard about how Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson argues that hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities. She argues that with great need comes an unusually wide range of ideas, as well as such positive emotions as happiness and joy, courage, and empowerment. She suggest that we can find options and hope in four areas of one’s self: cognitive, psychological, social, and physical.

Each Artful Orator spoke about what hope is for them, and then offered their personal recipe for staying hopeful. Four views in the room correlated directly to Fredrickson’s theory:

img_2558Cognitive – Sabine explained how we can train the brain to notice positive things more, and then see the world as a place that contains more positivism and hope.

Psychological – Maria-Elena spoke with us about how we are all different, some may be disposed towards depression or optimism, but all of us can look into our hearts to see a glimmer of hope in our hearts.

Social – Bess showed how dear friends can be a source of advice, with words like “live it of live with it” that helped her to be clear about what she cared about and to stay present so hope (and the rest) can come to her.

Physical – Francesco told of when things seem bleak, he will do just on action, perhaps something very small, but realize that motion created emotion, and that a small step can be the beginning of hope.

Read more on Building Hope in Teams at Jeffer’s Blog.

Depth & Meaning

This evening was a great example of what one can accomplish through the Advanced Manuals. The Discussion Leader offers a chance to move beyond competent communication to more deep dialogue – be it about hope, or any other topic that you want to explore.

Having the opportunity, in one evening, to hear Hilary read a poem by Maya Angelou as part of the Interpretive Reading Manual, to see a role-play with Jorke from the Conversing with Ease Manual, and to experience an in-depth feedback session on Daniel’s speech from the Make Them Laugh Manual, showed the diversity of experience that Toastmasters can offer.

Happily Table Topics made a reappearance, thanks to Wouter’s questions on how to use the insights of advanced manuals such as storytelling, crisis communication, persuasion – capping off a well rounded evening that offered hope for all speakers who want to advance.

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