Today, I ran a workshop in a new format for the first time. I had doubts.

I was reasonably confident having played around with the topic for more than two years. The structure was clear and I knew exactly what to say.

A month ago, I hosted the online version of the workshop. It was a positive experience for the attendees and myself, which is why I decided to also hold it in person.

However, since this was a first timer in this format, I doubted that I was prepared enough. It wasn’t meant to be a presentation nor a lecture. The term WORKshop defined it best as the participants were invited to WORK on themselves.

Should I put some of the content onto flipchart paper?

Should I write a script to make sure I didn’t forget anything important?

Should I produce additional handouts over and above the few printouts I had already prepared?

Would the attendees believe that I had prepared myself seriously enough thereby valuing their precious time?

Intellectually, I knew it was enough. On an emotional level, however, it felt like I couldn’t trust my own feelings.

So the evening before the event I was still sitting there undecided whether I should still be doing something. I was running out of time. That was when I saw a familiar face popping up on Linkedin. She was an expert in designing immersive experiences. It felt right to drop her a note asking how she was doing. She then wanted to know what I was up to. I told her that I was nervous because of my upcoming workshop. Her response hit home right away.

She was spot on. No need to worry about the outcome. I wasn’t in control of it, in particular not when it came to others. People should be given the chance to contribute and even co-create. My role as the host was o make people comfortable by creating a welcoming and safe environment. Whether or not any magic would happen in that space wasn’t really up to me. I was just in charge of creating the conditions for that to be possible.

I am glad I followed her advice.

So were the attendees of my workshop.

Privileged to work with those who care enough.