Thursday, January 21, 2010


I had a really good day last Friday, I mean really good - exhausting, exhilerating, massively affirming, and the kind of day that will stay with me for quite a while. It was also all about work - although it was really about the responsiveness of the people who I was working with, to my work.

Apart from getting a few dozen grown-ups to go on a longish walk in icy woodland conditions (they suffered, but they enjoyed), and to later gad about various eateries and drinkeries (they enjoyed), I got them to take on a seriousish photographic task (they enjoyed), but more interesting to me, I had them tackle a couple of playful but tricky questions - one from the archives, plus a new one (for me). Those questions were:-

Q1. [From the archives] Think of an occasion when you took a risk. What was that risk?

Q2. [New] You may be aware of the TV programme, Come Dine With Me. (If not, someone will explain.) You are to host a most amazing supper, at Le Chateau Imaginaire. Your guests are to be three famous/ish people - all from different walks of life (i.e. no trios of any particular professional or source of notoriety), plus one non-famous person, who is neither an existing friend or relative. So, who are your guests?

The final part to question two (the non-famous person) had the potential to unseat a few of our riders, but no, they played and they played fair.

And after that, I had them return to Q1. But this time, I asked:

Q3. [New] Think of an occasion when you avoided taking a risk. What was that risk?

This was a question that relied on my players to already be working well together, as it would require some teasing out - its meanings and possibilities. But you know what, they were fantastic. I gave them a good time, and they delivered.

So good, so very good.

If you've any thoughts on any of the above questions, feel free to share (I am interested) - whether you're a familiar to the comments box, a one-off wanderer, or someone somewhere in-between.


Queenie said...

My amazing supper guests would be:
1. Doris Lessing - writer extraordinaire, and one of my heroes.
2. Daniel Barenboim - because he co-founded an orchestra made up of Israelis and Palestinians.
3. Barack Obama - because he's one of the few politicians I'd give house room to, and I think he'd be an entertaining dinner guest.
4. The extraordinarily dynamic woman I met in a work context recently, who runs a sheltered housing scheme even though she's retired three times already and is old enough to live there herself. I suspect she'd enjoy the soiree, not be fazed by the company, and she had an astonishing quality of being fully present in the moment that I suspect she would share with most, if not all, of my other guests.

I'd like to hire in some really good caterers, though, OK?

LB said...

I took a risk by taking the redundancy deal I got offered last year, I suppose. I'm glad I did, though - an will ultimately be very glad I did, I think.

Dinner guests? Blimey.

I actually think that Boris Johnson would be good value over dinner. Whether you agree with his politics or not, I bet he's *brilliant* when you get a bit of wine in him.