It never ceases to amaze me what is possible when you create an environment of shared trust. It swiftly allows people to feel safe and, from there, to connect at a level of common connection and, ultimately, recognise their shared humanity. This is such a huge ‘why’ for me behind my desire to facilitate, mentor and coach.
The power of authentic relationship
I have been associated with Mowgli Mentoring since March 2010 when I first met co-founder Simon Edwards and was invited to be a mentor in Jordan. Since that first experience I have enjoyed further Mowgli Mentoring Experiences in Jordan, Syria and, most recently, Algeria, all in my development as a Mowgli Lead Facilitator.
‘My best yet’
The most recent experience was the first programme to be launched in Algeria, sponsored by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office Arab Partnership Fund. It was also to be delivered entirely in French (the first time I have delivered anything professional in French since consulting in Pau some 11 years ago!) Below are some reflections on what took place during what I would call ‘the best yet’.
Or was it?
Each and every programme is unique and has been a revelation on so many levels to so many participants; and this one was no different. In hindsight, therefore, it was MY best yet. There are many obvious hugely contributing factors – shared intent, generosity, purity and professionalism of my multi-lingual co-facilitator Nadine Asmar…the empowering guidance of Simon…my grasp of the programme and materials…the high class of our local partner MedafCo covering all the ground work – and ultimately, I distill my experience down to the personal confidence in myself to be and give my best me in every moment on every day, whatever the outcome.
An afterthought is also how I threw myself into, rather than shrank away from, delivering in French. Somehow I gave myself extra license to “just go for it!” It’s interesting how forcing an issue can automatically stretch one’s comfort zone…
How does it ‘work’? Ah…that’s the magic!
So when one participant after another comes to say “Thank you. I am not fully sure what happened, but thank you” followed by “How do you create such magic?”, I respond, “It’s magic! Why? Because it can’t be explained, only experienced and enjoyed. That’s the point! The effect of human connection is to stir the heart and soul. The benefits are too numerous to quantify, but in the case of Mowgli we are able to channel that heart and soul energy into mentoring and entrepreneurship.
We don’t “do” magic. Magic works through us. What we “do” is the work on ourselves so that we can show up fully present, perfectly vulnerable and strong in all our imperfections, and create the environment to allow the magic to emerge in the moment. The ‘magic’ will always be different because people are so wonderfully, beautifully, maddeningly, inspiringly, amazingly unique, as are the relationships that reflect us as we create, live and breathe them. And once the magic is there and allowed to flow, anything is possible!
Then what? Magic in action
Magic may be one thing, but then what, you may ask? I offer you a very real life example with tangible results. From my veryfirst Mowgli Experience as a mentor in Jordan (March 2010), my relationship with my irrepressible mentee, Lina Kalifeh, continues to this dayas a I proudly watch her grow both herself and her business SheFighter – “Empowering Women Through Self Defense” – the first Self-Defense Company in the Middle East, designed for women by a woman and taught by female instructors. Think about it and you will realise how significant a venture this is and could be. You can probably tell that I continue to be grateful, impressed and inspired by Lina and all she stands for in her story and success.
I say again: anything is possible!