Having personally experienced the power of being in a Pod myself, I am thrilled and delighted to be able to offer this way of learning to the women of Guernsey.
In Episode 1 of the Podcast I talk about the experience of being in a Pod but I wanted to expand that here for those thinking they might benefit from this way of learning.
Having invested years of my own money in my own development, where I have found the greatest benefit to my own growth process has been when I have been working together with others in small supportive groups.
I first came across the idea of working in a Pod at a leadership course in Spain in 2007. The course was spread over a year with week long modules each quarter; where we were encouraged to create Skype Pod groups to continue our work together between modules. Of the 5 people in my Pod, 3 of us still Skype together on the fourth Monday of the month, from Guernsey, Copenhagen and Frankfurt. Amazingly the three of us came together again on a course in Dorset last year and the deep connection was immediate.
Pods operate utilising the principles of The Circle Way some of you may have come across circle on a yoga retreat or similar non-work adventure. Derived from ancient traditions of democracy, Christina Baldwin and Ann Linea have created a way to use these principles in modern organisations. I will include a separate blog entry on how Female Potential utilises the Circle principles in the Pods.
The reason we do so is this is a tried and tested method, which is an incredibly powerful way of communicating. It helps build trust and a safe, supportive environment for the Pod members. Only when we feel held in a caring and supported way can we really begin to explore our learning edges.
Sure it takes time for the Pod bonds to build, but build they do until you have something unique. A Pod mate is very different from a normal friend.
• Pod mates can be trusted with our stories and our truths
• Pod mates will listen to us without interrupting
• Pod mates will encourage us to say more when we think we’ve finished
• Pod mates don’t collude with our version of the story
• They will ask questions and challenge us but always with love, and in support of our further learning
• Pod mates are there for each other whatever happens in life
One of my dearest wishes has been to replicate the Pod structure In Guernsey and I’m delighted to report that the first Pod has been running now for a couple of years. The “Swans” are a Leadership Pod consisting of women with age ranges from early 30s to 60s, and jobs ranging from directors to managers, entrepreneurs to administrators.
The concept has been well and truly proved but up until now I didn’t have the band width to expand it – but with the end of WDF and the dawn of Female Potential that has changed and developing more Pods will be one of my primary jobs over the next few years.
Working together in a Pod is also a way to experience the benefits and knowledge from an experienced Professional Coach in a more cost effective way.