In the last month; every magazine article I have read has discussed individuals sharing life altering experiences. The things in life that have such an enormous impact that they change your perspective; FOREVER.
I realized that I am no exception and have reached a stage in life where I am questioning the next chapter or phase both personally and professionally.
I have had a successful career in marketing and communications working with companies redefining their brand strategy. Everything from social media platforms, sponsorship, special events, public relations, customer retention programs, logo’s etc. It has been my passion to energize teams working towards a common goal. I’ve also recently introduced a new facet to my career; motivational speaking, where the “information share” brings a whole new meaning to the word passion.
What is the game changer?
I am proud to say that I’ve attended Harvard Law School this month and received a certificate in Mediation and Dispute Resolution from HNI – the Harvard Negotiation Institute through their Executive Eduction Program. I have achieved a personal goal and dream to attend an ivy league university and rub elbows with other like minded individuals. As a brand strategist, who wouldn’t want to be aligned with Harvard?
It was a rather intense week with four top notch instructors: Professor Robert Mnookin, Gary J. Friedman, Dana Curtis and Samuel (Mooly) Dinnar who facilitated learning through lecture, case study and role play Notable professionals who raised the bar and set the stage for this collaborative model with 47 other participants from around the world.
An introduction to a unique mediation model that is built on communication, transparency and trust that is both collaborative and innovative. These skills may be used in every facet of life and is what I would describe a rather unique perspective to resolving disputes. Everything from social interaction to business conflict, these skills are indeed life altering.
One of the best take-aways was meeting business professionals from around the world and the multi cultural perspective shared by everyone in the group. Judges, lawyers, entrepreneurs, academia, a minister, coach and journalist, – people who were genuinely interested in learning from each other to further expand their personal sphere of influence and enrich their life experience. We were a diverse group of ethnicities, religions and cultures. Over 10 countries were represented and I found it exhilarating and humbling to become part of the group.
The energy in the room was tangible and the days went by at lightening speed. Everyone contributed in some way to ensure your experience was notable and noteworthy.
For me, I had drawn a line in the sand using Harvard Law School as the time and place for change. Every morning we started the day with one of the Harvard Team asking what we had learned the day before and a brief conversation would begin that was insightful and thought provoking. Even though we were a diverse group we all were having a similar experience.
What did I learn?
In addition to the practical principles of Mediation and Dispute Resolution, the following theme was evident:
Enjoy your success
Never stop learning
Expand your circle of influence (COI)
Collaborate and information share with like minded individuals
Step out of your comfort zone
Life is journey of reinvention; no matter what age
Teamwork is truly the cornerstone to success
Throughout the week a pattern began to emerge and an interesting dynamic of friendship and trust was shared amongst the group. On the last day, we received certificates and attended a celebration to toast our accomplishment, forge new friendships and build strategic alliances. The Harvard Team were encouraging of the new skills we’d learned and information shared by everyone in attendance. They each spent a few moments with everyone in the group which I’m sure provided insight into the tools for our continued success. I had the opportunity to speak with Bob, Gary, Dana and Mooly expressing thanks for the learning which I am confident will change and shape my future.
As with any intense experience, many of us were reluctant to leave the place of comfort the week of academia provided and yet you could tell that we were anxious to apply what we had learned in our respective lives.
As part of my journey, I’d like to thank not only the Harvard Team but the group of colleagues who shared with me what will become a “game changer” in both my personal and professional life.
How will it change my future?
Stay tuned…….I’ll keep you posted.