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February 2011 | Volume 4, Issue #8      

In This Issue
Jazz Quote of the Month
Professional Coach Training in Vancouver
Monthly Jazz Vespers at Brentwood Presbyterian Church
Cory Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club
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Dear Brian ,   

Civil conversations generate compelling consequences.


Civil, as I have come to understand the concept, has to do with the attitudes and behaviours that not only allow, but also encourage, people to live together in ways that are mutually supportive. It has to do with creating a community, one conversation after another, marked by respect for others, willingness to learn, and commitment to the common good. The word carries connotations of courtesy, graciousness, and consideration.


It does not involve, however, giving up on one's convictions. Civil conversations create a space for those to be expressed, challenged, and often refined or revised.


At some deep level, it involves the humility to learn and to change for the better.


Compelling is a concept that has intrigued me lately. It carries a sense of arousing strong interest and admiration by exercising an energetic and positive influence. There is a flow to that influence - through five stages - that works best when you adopt the attitudes and behaviours of civility.

  1. You attract a person's attention through listening, showing respect what they have to say.
  2. You capture a person's interest through curiosity, seeking to understand more deeply the values and aspirations that underlie what they are saying.
  3. You form an alliance with the person by appreciating the common values and aspirations that you share.
  4. You grow together with the person by exploring thoroughly differences in strategies for achieving your common goals.
  5. You agree to act together in a ways that contribute to a flourishing community.

I'm not suggesting that this flow is easy, or quick, or guaranteed. Building this kind of team can be messy work that takes resilience to achieve the desired consequence. But entering into conversations with your colleagues with the intention of finding this flow significantly increases the possibility of generating this kind of vibe.


If, like jazz musicians, you decide to practice the sound of your conversation - its content, its tone, and its feel - with the intention of generating compelling consequences through civility, then your presence will be more powerful in a positive way.





Jazz Quote of the Month


BelafonteThe passion for human flourishing that has flowed through the soul of Harlem-born Harry Belafonte for 83 years continues unabated. In a recent article on Sing Your Song, the documentary about his life shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Katherine Monk quoted him as saying:


You can't make change as a victim. We have to stop being victims and be more aggressive about overcoming our victimization. ... I've always looked at the world and thought what can I do next? Where do we go from here? How can we fix it? And that's how I still look at the world, because there is still so much to be done.


Victimization is a stealthy, subtle adversary. It can seep into our attitudes unnoticed and sap our behaviours of positive energy quickly. It demoralizes and debilitates.


Jazz is an art form that thrives on consciously-crafted change, finding new ways to interpret the melody, new ways to blend in harmonies, new ways to move forward in sync. Victims don't play jazz, at least not very long.


Choose activism in composing your conversations. You will flourish with the delight of a great jazz musician.




Professional Coach Training in Vancouver beginning in February 2011


Coach TrainingThe second Vancouver cohort of the Demers Group's Core Alignment Professional Coach Training Program, in which I am privileged to teach, begins the week of Feb 13-17, 2011, in the Viva Tower at Drake and Howe in Vancouver, BC. This program is fully accredited with the International Coach Federation. The program features more grounding in your own essential coaching presence and more faculty attention to your practice coaching than most programs. Click here to find out more.




Monthly Jazz Vespers at Brentwood Presbyterian Church


Cory WeedsFollowing this year's Jazz Vespers at Christmas, Cory Weeds offered to organize a monthly jazz vespers at Brentwood. With deep gratitude, we accepted. The services will be held on the last Sunday of each month, beginning with February 27, at 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon. It will be a time of prayer, reflection, and inspiring jazz. For the first session, Cory will be joined by Jodi Proznick on bass, Tilden Webb on piano, and Jesse Cahill on drums. We'd be delighted to have you join us. And bring your friends!


Brentwood 2


Enjoy Great Jazz in Vancouver

The Cellar 

For information on February's schedule and reservations, click here.