Some Personal & Professional Learnings from this Last Week

What a week it has been. So much grief and anger around the events in the world…and also…so much joy and elation personally:

The 3-day Art of Client Transformation retreat that I led was over-the-top incredible.

With over 130 attendees LIVE, we went SO DEEP. Into our own personal inner work as practitioners, into our own Shadows and triggers.

The breakthroughs and a-has, and shifts into feeling more empowered were through the roof, and…so many retreat participants stepped into the Sacred Depths Practitioner Certification that we are over-full for our next cohort beginning at the end of this month!!!!

I am beyond thrilled.

The retreat brought up some new learnings (& also invited me to activate important old learnings), and I wanted to share a few of them here for your learning (just a few for now because I am in rest and recovery mode after the retreat!).

1. In Your Groups: Address World Events & Honor the Range of Emotions in the Room (while still honoring your curriculum)

The attack on the Capitol in the U.S. happened on Wednesday afternoon, and the retreat began Thursday morning. This is not the first time I’ve led a retreat just as a traumatic public event is happening. One of the other most notable was in 2016 when there was the horrific attack of hate on the Pulse Night Club in Orlando.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when you’re leading a group and there is something terrible that has just happened in the world, you must address it. You must speak to it. You must acknowledge and honor all the emotions that it may be bringing up for folks and let everyone know that they are welcome in the container exactly as they are, with exactly what they are holding.

Speaking to events that are happening and honoring all that is being stirred up, by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to cut your curriculum short or even spend a lot of time on it.

But, if you ignore or bypass it, the container will not feel safe. The container will not feel like it can hold all that is there.

2. Be trauma-informed not only in your client work, but also in your sales

One thing that I take pride in is that in Sacred Depths and all of my trainings, we teach practitioners to not only be exceptional at what they do, but to do it in a trauma-informed way.

This doesn’t mean that we teach practitioners how to work with trauma (that is not in my scope), but it does mean that we teach practitioners to understand that clients may have trauma in their history, and we teach practices so that practitioners can promote an environment that honors that instead of inadvertently re-traumatizing clients.

This is KEY, no matter who your ideal client is. And it’s key not only in your clients, but in how you lead prospects through sales. This is why in my Authentic Enrollment Conversations Trainings, I really go step by step how to lead sales calls that are empowering not only for you, but for your prospects, how to create agency for your prospect as you lead them through the decision-making process in a sale.

And, I found myself on my new edge around this at last week’s retreat, as I was making my invitation into Sacred Depths. The short story is that I learned it’s important to give participants loving permission to “leave the room” if they don’t want to hear the invitation.

It’s so important to not only make sure your client work and enrollment conversations are trauma-informed, but that your calls to action are as well.

3. Expect the “Vulnerability Hangover” (as Brene Brown teaches)

The retreat was so incredible (like, dozens of people sharing that their lives are forever changed kind of incredible), and I recognized it and really knew it, and yet even though I know better….I really went into a Vulnerability Hangover afterwards.

I all of the sudden felt shame, felt like people were upset with me, like I was too big, too much, etc etc etc.

Good Times, ha ha!

In full transparency, this is kind of my pattern after I do something big and amazing. What I’ve really come to learn is that it’s only fear. And the good news is that the fear doesn’t hold me back from doing big and amazing things; it just has a lot to say afterwards.

The more I remember that this is a pattern and that it’s only fear, the easier it is to manage…and even more importantly, the easier it becomes to deeply take in and own all of the powerful goodness I created through the event.

4. Always Do You

As with everything I do, I did this retreat my way. I didn’t follow any rules. I didn’t listen to what the gurus say about how to market. I didn’t hold myself back from bringing all of myself and my gifts and my passions and my strange quirks forward. I didn’t shy away from being honest and transparent. I didn’t try to be anyone except ME.

I know without a doubt that this is the biggest reason why the retreat was so successful, why so much transformational work was able to happen. and why so many people enthusiastically stepped into Sacred Depths.

5. Take an even stronger stand for what you believe in

This is scary to share publicly, but I’m gonna do it. Deep breath, Joanna. My one regret about last week’s retreat is that the space was not as diverse as I would have hoped – not in terms of race, and not in terms of gender identity. There absolutely was some diversity, but not enough.

This lets me know that I am not doing as well as I thought I was doing in terms of being clear about where I stand on social & racial justice, and in terms of making the spaces I lead as welcoming & equitable as possible. This lets me know I must take an even stronger stand for what I believe in. And this is one of my top priorities for 2021.

I hope that these lessons inspire you, and I hope you are taking good care of yourself this week, as we collectively continue to move through all that’s happening in the world.

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