Creating An Environment of RESPECT

BrainTrain: September 2016

The kids are back in school in their new district and are adapting as well as we could have hoped.

I still remember when I found out Steph was pregnant with twins as it was day 2 of one of our Institutes.

Fast-forward almost 11 years and they are now in 5th grade!

People no longer ask if they are twins as you can see, Logan has shot up significantly over the past few years.

One more year and we’ll probably be in the same size shoe…gulp!

And I can’t share just twins. Blake started three day preschool and is loving it. Here is his first day of school obligatory picture.

As Logan is now eating us out of house and home, I want to share upcoming opportunities to learn Compression Planning.

It’s hard for me to talk about the topic of today’s email without Aretha Franklin’s song playing in my head…


We talk about the underlying principle of respect in all of our Institutes.

It starts out with respect for PEOPLE.

Followed by respect for IDEAS.

And lastly, respect for PROCESS.

Hopefully this isn’t a concern for those of you leading Compression Planning sessions.

I often hear that it really hits home though for a lot of participants.

Why is this? What is happening that causes this to be such a key takeaway?

I’m not sure I have any answers but I have some ideas.

My underlying thought is that people don’t have a PROCESS to guide their thinking and discussion around complex issues.

The alternative seems to be what one of our teammates calls the “cuss and discuss” meeting.

I believe the following must be in place to foster the three foundations of respect in Compression Planning.

  1. It has to start with leadership. Is someone committed to the project? Is it a “flavor-of-the-month” project or has legitimate legwork been done to recruit people to a real issue/opportunity/challenge?
  2. People understand why they are being asked to the table – they understand that they are not there to just sit back and receive information but rather lean forward and give their absolute best thinking on the subject matter. And ultimately, they will do something to help make it happen.
  3. The environment is structured such that the typical difficult behavior that often rears its ugly head is not conducive for that happening. There is clear understanding of how they are to participate and there are “artifacts” and guidelines to help you as well as the group monitor behavior and participation.

After leading as many sessions as I have, for some reason I’m still surprised when people bring up the issue of respect and how much they appreciated the environment Compression Planning provided them.

Hope this serves as food for thought for you as you thinking about designing and leading your next Compression Planning session.

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