Thursday, February 24, 2011

I’m a realist with an optimistic ♥

Pretty profound isn’t it. Say it with me again, “I’m a realist with an optimistic heart”.

These words were spoke by Dr. Karl-Henrik Robért during his presentation at the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference that I recently attended. Dr. Robért is the founder of the Natural Step and has worked with well-known organizations such as IKEA, McDonald’s, NIKE, Scandic Hotels, and Electrolux to help them pioneer sustainable solutions and transform their organizations. Dr. Robért is one of Sweden’s foremost cancer scientists and is a frequent speaker and author on sustainability. Amongst his many accomplishments, in 2000 Dr. Robert won the “Blue Planet” prize, which is often described as the Nobel Prize for ecological sustainability.

What I am really saying….he knows his stuff.

I admit I was smitten. It was a heavy subject, but his easy-going speaking manner and sense of humour enabled us to travel on the journey with him. I felt like he was speaking directly to me. Afterwards, while discussing with another attendee about how much impact the presentation had, I actually started a sentence with, “when Dr. Robért was talking to me…” which of course wasn’t true. The general session room was packed with 250 plus attendees, but he made us feel like he was speaking directly to each of us individually.

I wanted to take notes, but I was so engaged in his presentation that I put my pen down and simply listened.

What did I learn from Dr. Robért? I learned so much, but these stood front and center:

  • Ask for advice – When you really need to engage someone and want him or her to be a partner in your process, simply begin the dialogue by asking for advice. By doing so, you are demonstrating that you are willing to listen. Follow that conversation up with….
  • "Yes, and….” – shows collaboration of the idea/conversation. No longer are you two opposing sides, you are now sharing information respectfully. It builds trust and acceptance. (Jenise Fryatt of Icon Presentations and founder of Eventprov also introduced this term to us during her fabulous opening presentation. The term was used often through this conference)
  • It only takes 10% - 15% to create a paradigm shift – A paradigm shift is a change from one way of thinking to another and once started, goes rapidly. It can happen with as little as 10% - 15% of the population acting as change agents.

Each year that I attend the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference, I walk away inspired, invigorated and with a spring in my step. This year is no different.... Thank you!



Jenise Fryatt said...


Excellent post that I look forward to sharing with my social media friends. There was SO much buzz about the GMIC conference, for so many great reasons. Dr. Robert's presentations got lots of tweets. He really sounds like someone who can help lead the sustainability movement in a positive direction. I wish I could have been there for that. But I really enjoyed the time I spent there sharing improv concepts and especially sharing time with you. Looking forward to more of your great blog posts!!!

Billy Kirsch said...

Great quote and great post. I can't wait to share with my upcoming clients that it only takes 10 - 15% to begin a paradigm shift. That makes change seem less daunting.

The Green-Eyed Event Planner said...

Thanks Jenise, I really appreciate your support. My mind is reeling with ideas right now....I have to focus, but it is hard to do. I am so excited to get it written down!

Billy, I completely agree with you. When Dr. Robert said that, I physically relaxed. It gave me hope, which in turn fuels the fire. Makes me want to work even harder.