A Powerful Invitation

joroyleThis week we have a guest blog from Jo Royle, a member of our team here in the UK.  She’d love to hear from you about this tale of a powerful invitation…

I’ve been thinking about running retreats for some time…  Originally leadership retreats providing leaders the time & space to reflect and to plan.  More recently meditation retreats for the Effortless Tribe… the ~250 people I’ve taught the practice of Effortless Meditation.

A couple of months ago I was trying to formulate some ideas on an Effortless Tribe Retreat… what it would be, what may offer was, etc. when it dawned on me that many of the tribe have amazing gifts they could also share on such a retreat.  By us coming together collaboratively we could have a retreat with chi kung and yoga sessions, daily meditations, 1:1 coaching, acupuncture and workshops on all manner of things from exploring creativity, to singing and dancing, to helping people live their dreams.

Since then I feel I’ve been on some kind of threshold, not sure whether to step forward or step back and in a conversation with Helen Bailey, co-author with Mark McKergow of HOST, I decided to explore Host Leadership as a way to decide how to move forward.   It felt like exploring one of the six roles of a Host Leader –  ‘Inviter’ – would be helpful, so that’s where I began.

The idea of “thinking invitationally” felt obvious… I’m not in a position to insist that people attend a retreat… nor would I want to… so it’s very much about inviting people to take part and helping them see the positive consequences such involvement.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The three elements of a powerful invitation from HOST (acknowledgement, attraction and choice) provide me a structure for the email I want to send out inviting people to be a part of the Effortless Tribe Retreat… I want to acknowledge what they uniquely bring; what’s attractive about them getting involved and connects with them; and obviously give them the possibility of saying “no”.  I do recognise that if I put my heart into making this happen that “no” can feel difficult for me.   Also the idea of acknowledging what people ‘uniquely’ bring may mean not sending a blanket email, but instead crafting individual emails.

When I read “invitation is about clearing a space in front of people…if you give too much space it’s as though your invitation never existed” it made me think that already on a couple of occasions I’ve mooted the idea on Facebook and had interest from 10-15 people, but… Has my lack of follow up (partly because of not knowing how to move forwards), made it feel like no invitation has been made?

So, where I got to is: I need to make the invitation; use the three elements of a powerful invitation in my conversations / emails; ask people if and how they’d like to be involved during the retreat itself and also in the run up; understand what people want from an Effortless Tribe Retreat; send the invitation out to the whole of the Effortless Tribe (as only those who use Facebook are currently aware of the idea); not be attached to people saying “yes”; arrange a group call to move the retreat forwards & then probably step back in the dance that is Host Leadership and see who steps forward…

I have to say, thanks to HOST, I feel much more positive about the way forward and making the Effortless Tribe Retreat happen J

So, my questions to you…

  • In something you want to move forward, how might you think more invitationally?
  • As a leader, how might you acknowledge people’s unique gifts more?
  • What do you need to do to ensure you’re OK with a “no”?

Would love to hear from you…

Jo Royle

effortlessjo.co.uk, twitter.com/@EffortlessJofacebook.com/Effortless.Jo


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