Yesterday I had my first workshop for teenagers: “Stuff that you don’t learn in school”. A parent asked for it, after he attended one of my workshops.
While I have a lot of concepts to share with them, I didn’t know what they would like to talk about in this workshop. So I was pretty open to any topic they would like to talk about. I can introduce the concepts through interactive and experiential exercises, based on a topic suggested by participants.
The surprise struck me from the beginning! If you believe that’s difficult to work with adults, try to get four teenagers (you don’t know) in a room! 😉 They didn’t know me either, their parents wanted them to be here!
So we started with.. silence! I can relate to that, I would do the same! 😉
I tried a couple of things.. none worked! Then, I let go of control.. and notice what’s happening. I picked up a sign of curiosity about the tape I put on the floor for an exercise, a word whispered several times between them (PS3).. and start with those, and what my intuition told me to do! We end up doing the first exercise (the Metaskills wheel, on “PS3” as topic). It worked very well, and little by little the ice melt and I was able to continue the workshop.. getting gradually three of them to be active participants in the exercises, working on topics they suggested or what came to my mind. Based on the feedback received from them, I believe the workshop was successful. They learned something new… Woohoo!!! 😉
The teenager who didn’t talk at all (but participated in the exercises), wrote on the evaluation form: “I liked that you kept my attention during the whole workshop.” It was two hours long, with no break!
The biggest lessons for me from this experience:
1. Allow more time to built trust, before jumping into the content. Talking about myself first could be an invitation for them to open more (?)
2. When you don’t know what to do: let go of control, step back and notice what’s happening. Pick up some signs and go with them, trust your intuition! Take a first step, then a second.. and you’ll make the ball rolling! 😉
3. I didn’t know what to expect, but I love this experience! May I do it again? 😉