Johnnie Moore

Sensational meetings

Sensational can be about subtle feeling, not big excitement, in meetings
Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Bringing our everyday feelings into our meetings

Transcript of this video:

My first grown-up job after leaving university was working for the British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, and as part of that year, I spent two weeks in their flagship supermarket in Walthamstow getting to know how things worked.

And one of the things that sticks in my mind all these decades later is that they had ducting that went from the bakery at the back of the store, through the ceiling, over the heads of the shoppers to drop down pleasant bakery smells next to the fresh produce at the store entrance as a way of unconsciously probably luring more customers in.

And I haven’t been able to get that memory out of my mind recently. I think because it connects to the importance of being able to bring our sensations and our feelings into our conversations in organizations.

I think those conversations often seem as if they don’t really want to do with things as vulnerable-making as feelings so that we have conversations about the things like sense-making that don’t actually acknowledge our senses but use fancy terms like strange attractors and heuristics, all of which are fine, but which I think sometimes leave us with conversations that are strangely rather inhuman.

And I thought of it particularly this morning when I was in a conversation where things unexpectedly and quite suddenly became a bit challenging to me, and what I found myself doing, and it’s something I think I’m doing increasingly, is I started by saying, “Oh. I notice that my heart is pounding.”

And then I said, “Oh, I think I’m panicking a bit in response to this.” And then I went to sort of unpack more of my experience from there.

And I suppose I take a bit of a risk by doing that. That might not always be the done thing, but I think it’s useful to us to remember that we are sensing vulnerable human creatures that have all these sensations that are often changing quite rapidly and that sometimes take us a bit by surprise, and I think I want to make it more acceptable for people to do that in meetings because I think it’s a way making our meetings more genuinely human and accessible.

And I think it will lead to more effective meaning-making together.

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

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