I can’t believe it’s taken me SO long to share this conversation with the Amazing Elise Foster. Elise is a powerful coach, an accomplished author, and a friend. She’s the co-author of The Multiplier Effect with Liz Wiseman and Beautiful Questions in the Classroom with Warren Berger (who’s written several bestselling books on powerful questions). She was a thinking partner for me when I was in the early stages of writing my second book, and I was shocked and honored when she decided to come to my Facilitation Masterclass and even more shocked and honored when she actually got something out of it – proving that it really is more about what they practice and the container I create than what I teach! I’m also honored that she’s been a great member of the Conversation Factory Insiders’ group – we started 2 years ago with alums of the masterclass meeting monthly for experiments and intentional practice, and 2 years and 22 sessions later, we’ve all learned a tremendous amount about leading groups online. Elise was kind enough to lead a session for the community on the QFT, a Question Formulation Technique from the Right Question Institute which has shifted how I think about Powerful Questions and how I coach teams on them, too. In this conversation, I wanted Elise to unpack not just some of her favorite “Eye Opener” warmup exercises to help get teams to think differently, but also how she thinks about bringing them into sessions with teams, and why they matter. Lots of folks talk about icebreakers – and they can be helpful to help us connect to each other from afar…but they are such a broad class of activities – they can include games like “Two truths and lie” which are just about connecting people as humans or “three things”, a classic improv game which helps folks just warm up their brains. Priya Parker asks folks to check into the chat with where they are and what actual substance is beneath their feet, to help ground and connect us. Eye-openers are both about what we do, as leaders and coaches of people in the moment, in order to create an
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