Yesterday I had the good fortune to present my motivational seminar to some good folks in the USDA FOREST SERVICE in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

There were two main groups represented: Acquisition and Budget. And there were folks from all around New Mexico: they didn’t know each other well at all.

They asked me to talk about humor, and to tie in humor to their workplace. Right after my motivational seminar they were going to design some new budgeting processes and would have to work together as a group… and they wanted me to help to get them into the right frame of mind. Cooperation. Teamwork. Humor.
It was fun to be a part of that event: like so many groups that don’t know each other well, they were resistant and hesitant. But by the end, there were smiles on their faces, and the tone in the room was much lighter. Yes, they still had work to do, but hopefully they were more ready to do it from a place of trust.

My favorite part of the program was when we were doing some interactive improv games to make a point about processes. I asked for volunteers, and although a couple did volunteer, we could not get a third. It was uncomfortable.

Instead of avoiding the obvious — that nobody wanted to help — I stopped the program and called attention to it. I labeled the tone in the room. I said somethin’ like, “What would we have to change in this room before we could all feel more safe taking even small risks like taking part in this improv exercise?” And then the follow up…

“Does this reluctance to get involved carry over to your work? Does it make your work harder? What do YOU need to to within yourself to change it?”

I’m telling ya… it was cool stuff.

USDA Forest Service… A Favor? What is it that YOU took away from the program. What “Aha” did you get from our seminar? Would you leave a comment (below?)

Thanks so much for having me.
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humor Expert, Forest Service Junkie!

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One response to “Forest (Service) For the Trees?”

  1. Kathy Lister says:

    It was bigger than just New Mexico. It was actually Budget, AQM and some Administrative Officers from all over New Mexico and Arizona. Thanks again Brad – your presentation helped drop some barriers and we accomplished the afternoon process redesign very successfully. Both groups were pleased to have been a part in designing “their” process and having their voices heard. I think that this was a turning point in our relationship.

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