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What I needed to find my voice

In the act of doing, I discovered.

And in discovering I found my voice.

I was in Rome, running a Train-the-Trainer workshop and an activity came to me.

The team of trainers was not aligning, connecting.

The newly created activity engaged them to work in pairs to brainstorm Guiding Principles for the team and then as a large group they selected their top ten. And the Guiding Principles activity was born.

Get your own copy of the Guiding Principles activity here, to run this personally, with teams, your family, students or community groups. It works for all ages!

Now I run the activity every time I work with a new team, start a new class at the university or help leaders discover or align their team's purpose.

In the act of determining the behaviours we want to see from each other, people become empowered to co-create a safe environment for sharing and working aligned to their own values.

This also offers permission to engage in heart-centered discussions when the guiding principles are misaligned.

Here's an example:

I once worked with two senior leaders who were clashing. After they created their set of guiding principles, they realized that they shared many of the same values and therefore were able to understand that they are more similar than different. This was the start of the healing.

Better understanding ourselves and others helps to create workplaces that can elevate our skills to do work we can all be proud of.

When I wrote my first set of Guiding Principles, it enabled me to find my voice. To be consistent with my thoughts, words, and actions and to help others experience me in a way that was authentic to who I was, instead of me trying to please others. When I mustered up the courage to do this, I was hooked. Aligned. And they guided me to where I needed to be.

This is my current set of Guiding Principles. They change and get updated as I do. :)

I use my guiding principles to write emails, plan for difficult conversations, and to encourage myself after a hard encounter - a checklist to see what I said, thought, and did aligned to my guiding principles and what I could do better next time.

The Guiding Principles became the foundation for everything.

In my latest workshop, Take the Leap! Make an Impact, we start our journey of purpose with Guiding Principles. It's at the heart of what can make us truly and unbelievably happy.

Download a Facilitator Guide with the Guiding Principles.


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Sonia Di Maulo, M.A., C.R.P., founder of Harvest Performance, applies 20 years of experience to cultivate trust, inspire connection, and harvest results. By 2020, she will help 100 women and men discover, create, embrace, and breathe life into their living legacies

As a Global Leadership Innovator, she uses positive communication and positive education principles from her award-winning Ken Blanchard endorsed book, The Apple in the Orchard to impact people, places and communities. She is a proud mom of two teenage sons, and enjoys travel and dark chocolate.

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