The workshop had a lot of valuable insights about effective communication and some tools specifically for getting to the root of what motivates people. Techniques like asking powerful questions have helped me in interpersonal relationships. I can imagine how it could add value to my team at work—I want all of them to take it!
I've spent a lot of time in various trainings and coaching sessions (including the first year of an Harvard Business School MBA!) I felt Jean and Edmond did a great job of pulling out specific, high impact communication techniques and creating a safe environment to practice them in. I'd highly recommend going to their workshop with a friend, coworker, or cofounder.
The workshop really showed me how simple questions and prompts can help you clear the air and dig deeper into how a person is feeling or what they are thinking. I believe it will help me grow my relationship with my coworkers and really gain a lot of insight into the health of our team.
I've done a lot of reading around leadership and related skills building, but I still learned some completely new tools here. Specifically, my skills at asking open-ended questions experienced a *major*, immediate leveling-up. We talk about 'aligning values' a lot but I honestly had meager-to-no ideas on what that can look like in practice. Now, I get to the heart of why a team member prefers one solution or approach over another much more quickly, whether it's in the context of a technical, product, or organizational discussion. Conversations both flow better and feel better — you're learning more about each other and building relationships for the long run, not just simply solving the exact problem right in front of you.
Like playing a piano, the concepts taught in the class are simple, such as "use the word 'what' and 'notice something'". However, mastery of the concepts take practice and a good coach. Edmond and Jean are fantastic at helping us take our conversations to the next level.
I was concerned that the workshop would not be a good use of my time. However, I was wrong. I learned skills at the workshop that I will use throughout life, at both work and at home. The biggest impact of the learnings for me was that I learned to communicate better with those closest to me and build a deeper bond with them by understanding what's important to them.
I was concerned that the workshop would be too nebulous to be immediately useful. That was not the case. The communication tools I learned and practiced during the workshop were immediately useful in my personal life, and have already helped me have more meaningful conversations at work.
I thought bringing a partner would be a huge hurdle, but it turned out to be a huge benefit. We started out the day with simple exercises, but as we went into the afternoon, it was helpful to practice with someone with whom we had shared context.
This workshop reinforced and clarified great techniques for having challenging conversations.
My biggest concern was that I'll come out of the workshop with yet another theory of communication. The workshop ended up being very experiential with a lot of exercises that showed me how to use the tools in the real world. In its essence, the workshop wasn't even so much about work, it was about paying attention to people in our lives — our colleagues, our friends, our family. I learned how to use conversations to bring people closer, to understand where they are coming from, and to share your story.
My biggest concern going into this workshop was that the material would end up being not practically applicable. The workshop did a great job of making sure that we were able to practice and get a feel for how to use different skills, and also gave enough time for discussion of how to apply them in real-life situations.
One of the biggest struggles I have in my workplace relationships is dealing with others who don't immediately see eye to eye with me. This workshop definitely showed me how to deal with those situations and gave me a good set of tools to use to build alignment.
The biggest concern was that it could be too much out of my comfort zone because of a language barrier and being an introvert who hadn't been to similar workshops.
The impact from the leadership experience has been very positive because it taught me the importance of alignment with our peers and communication skills that encourage people to open up. I've been learning what is important to everyone from our team and I can feel that the team is more energetic than before... People around me and myself all feel happier because we open up to each other more.
My biggest concern was that it would be a seminar where I'd be given a lot of pointers that work “in theory” without any practical demonstrations how these pointers could actually work.
I think the experience gave me insight based on the discussions of communication techniques and then the follow on demonstrations of these techniques. It gave me understanding of some things I can do and how it may change the relationship I have with people at work for the better.
I liked how the workshop helped me understand how to be more direct and transparent about communication. Sometimes once you hear the advice you think 'wow of course, that was obvious.' These things always feel much more difficult in the moment though and it really helps to have a framework for thinking about effective communication.
The workshop gave me some new perspective and I've already used aspects of what we talked about to improve some of my relationships with coworkers. I'd recommend that to anyone.
Edmond and Jean came across as well-planned, cohesive co-presenters. They both have the ability to break complex conversations to simple, first-principles based approach. It was an insightful day which provided the right amount of actionable tools for the attendees to build upon. I highly recommend them!
The biggest advantage this workshop has over others is the emphasis on "co-leadership". By bringing a partner with you, we're able to apply the tools & frameworks we learn while they're still fresh, on actual problems where we can go deep because we feel comfortable going into the details of the situation.
I've been to other workshops where people are uncomfortable sharing full details of the situation, and we end up creating a hypothetical solution for a hypothetical problem, and neither of us really know how to apply it to real life. Edmond & Jean's workshop allows us to tackle real problems with the coworkers or partners we bring, which in turn lets us further continue towards our solution after the workshop.
I've been to many professional development trainings but none of them provided as many actionable frameworks as Edmond and Jean shared. Armed with these tools, I feel more confident in my ability to get unstuck when I'm at an impasse with a key stakeholder.
In going through Building Alignment, I was able to confirm a long-held suspicion that a significant part of decision making is emotionally-driven. Facts and data are important, but they must be tied effectively to your stakeholders’ deeply-held concerns in order to gain alignment. Edmond and Jean’s workshop highlights this consideration and more importantly provides a systematic approach to unpacking these types of scenarios. This has added another dimension to the way that I approach my work, especially for larger projects and initiatives where access to stakeholders is limited.
Edmond and Jean put together an amazing workshop. Their presentation format of Explain, Demo, and Practice worked wonders and really proved how powerful their exercises were. In just 15 minutes of one exercise, my co-worker and I cracked through the problem of a non-productive recurring meeting we were having. And just two weeks later we implemented the changes and found resounding success! I highly recommend Edmond and Jean's work especially for leaders from different departments who work together on a daily basis.
I've repeatedly gone back to the alignment tools we covered in the Building Alignment workshop. The tools covered in the workshop have given me a mental model for navigating the varied interests I've encountered initiating a larger, cross-company billing/payments project. I'm also using what I learned to coach team leads and PMs on techniques for overcoming sprint-to-sprint obstacles that often get in the way of us doing our best work.
A big part of my role requires working with stakeholders of other teams and areas of the business. In the past, I’ve found myself assuming alignment was in place with certain colleagues when in hindsight, it is clear it was not. It is clearer to me that so much of building alignment is about taking the implicit and making it explicit. The leadership experience has empowered me to get into the mindset of what is truly important to those stakeholders first — what are their dreams? their pain points? — so that we can achieve alignment and move forward.
Thanks Edmond and Jean for creating such a simultaneously impactful yet accessible workshop! They break difficult conversations into easily understandable steps, which I found really useful. I had the opportunity to try out many simple experiments in workplace communication, learning to better understand other people and build alignment. I was impressed with how accessible the material and the exercises were — I would recommend this to even the most skeptical of managers or tech leads on my teams and I wouldn't be worried about turning them off.