How I became an Expert thanks to COVID-19

A Points of You® L3 Expert that is!

Am I not already an Expert? Returning to the source!

With new global standards, comes recertification. I had already done a lot of practice and had a Japan certification that allowed me to deliver 3 day certification programmes. I thought that I was done and could continue with delivery and designing my own workshops with Points of You and then, bam, in 2019 the Academy was launched.

And the Points of You® Academy is a good thing! Please don’t get me wrong! It’s really changed the quality of the experience for participants. It has created a way for participants around the world to have a unified experience of the methodology of Points of You®: how to use the tools, how to create workshops, and to really get a standardized version of what the brand experience is all about. There is still freedom for the facilitator to bring their personality and their own stories, but really the Academy gives everyone in the community a basic understanding at the same level. It’s great to feel connected and know that from Tokyo to Toronto we are sharing the same experience. And as a former marketer, I really see the push from a brand equity perspective!

After the Academy was launched, of course, I took the live sessions of the L1 Hello Points in Japanese. I joined the 2 day L2 Creative Practice programme in Japanese. Completed my practice sessions for that and could call myself a “Practitioner” and deliver L1 6 hour workshop. Then the requirement for the L3 level was shared and I realised that I need to do another 18 hours of practice workshops.

A Herculean task?

So it is about October 2019 and somehow I have to figure out how to do the following three times each for 6 different workshops

  • get groups of a least 6 people who would not be potential L2 Creative Practice participants
  • English speaking
  • face to face
  • during the daytime (evenings and weekends are family time)
  • in a spacious meeting room that I can get for free for at least 3 hours!

It doesn’t sound so challenging but add that I am running a business, raising a family and you know… living life!

Some of the contents I see how they can work with my clients as stand alone experiences. But for some of the other processes, it’s a little bit difficult to see how people unfamiliar with the tools can just jump in. Some of the processes are quite deep and complex, and not that entry-level friendly. It is, after all, the Level 2 program.

I had done a couple of sessions with different clients, the “My Life’s Wishlist” and “The Potential Me”. These are two fabulous workshops. I really enjoy them as a way to get people thinking about their experiences and their potential. Through sharing with a partner you get new insights. Alo lots of great internal networking if you run this in organizations.

I also delivered My Life’s Wishlist to a select group of high potentials at one of my clients. I really think this is a magical workshop. Personally, many of the things that I’ve had on My Life’s Wishlist have been achieved. I’ve heard from past participants that yes, they have had success with what they have committed to. The process of dreaming big, imagining the end state and then drilling down on what’s going to help you, what’s going to stand in your way, and then having your time “on stage” makes this process just brilliant and, as I mentioned, it has some strange magical power….

But it’s the end of 2019 and I have done 3 of the 18 workshops… going to be a loooooong road ahead.

Thanks COVID!

No, actually, really. Thanks COVID!

Fast forward into 2020. Yeah, I think you know where this story is going. Of course COVID-19 hit and face-to-face workshops weren’t really an option. Not really even a possibility from a safety perspective, an interest perspective. Just gathering people together was tough.

And it was around this timing in spring 2020, I’m very happy to say, that Points of You® headquarters in Israel did a great pivot and said, “How can we continue to develop these tools and to share the Academy programs in an online form?”

They knew that face-to-face workshops weren’t happening, but still the insights and breakthroughs that all of the L1 and L2 Academy programs allow people to have are really important, especially in the time of a pandemic, especially in crisis, as we look to develop our resilience. So HQ decided to restructure the L1 and L2 and to an online program.

And that also meant that we could do our practice of the sessions online as well!

And it really has been a “Thanks, COVID,” moment for me, because through doing the programs online, I have been able to connect two Points of You® Tribe members from around the world. It’s been amazing to have people from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, North Macedonia, Greece, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hungary, Croatia and America. So many different countries and cultures have been represented. It really has been an unexpected joy of 2020.

And it’s been fabulous to see how well the processes, the tools, and the ideas connect all these humans together. The things that we have in common is that we all speak English and that we all have interest in Points of You® for professional or personal development.

In these practice sessions we’ve connected despite our different country backgrounds, different ages, different genders, different family situations. Each session has felt so much connection, so much love, and just a great feeling of joy and gratitude to be the person who brought these people into this space. Even though you will hear me complain many times about how buggy Facebook events are as an organiser, I was really grateful for social media in this timing as well. It allowed me to easily connect to these people all over the world.

Points of You® headquarters has created these great and active groups where we can freely share our offerings with other community members from Points of You as well. Truly the spririt of “Pay it Forward”.

What did I learn as an online facilitator?

What I learned through the process as an online facilitator is that, most importantly, you can create powerful connection in an online environment. We mostly did the workshops, or using Zoom with breakout rooms. People want to talk, they want to connect, so let them. Cameras on, mute off, get involved, speak up.

I also remembered the power of the Pause. Super important in this always online world. Many of my clients are coming straight from another meeting into a workshop. There needs to be a moment to arrive, whether it’s three mindful breaths, a head, heart, stomach, check-in, or just asking yourself: Why am I here? Who am I? How am I?

These are really important questions to check in with ourselves on a regular basis, especially in the pandemic situation when we are under constant, low level stress (or high level stress depending on your role and your current situation).

I faced a personal practical challenge during this journey: holding the space. When I am facilitating a workshop in a room, I can see what is happening. I can observe the participants’ reactions, where they are in their journey, what they’re struggling with, laughter, tears, confusion, aha moments. I can observe all of these things.

But in an online session when a lot of interactions are happening in the breakout rooms, the facilitator experience is really different. If you just virtually pops your head in to the breakout room, you really are interrupting the intimacy of that sharing, and the intimacy of that moment. It’s important that you get comfortable with holding the space in the main room whilst the breakout rooms do their thing. The phrase, “Trust the process,” comes strongly to mind.

An Expert at last!

So now I am delighted to announce that thanks to COVID, I was able to complete my 18 hours of practice at the end of September. I was able to connect with a really wonderful group of Points of You® members from around the world.

I look forward to the opportunity to deliver more work online, and to allow people to get over the fact that online connection is not worse than face-to-face connection. You need to bring openness, a willingness to be vulnerable, a desire to connect in that space. So turn your camera on and start sharing!

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