Aside from the awesomeness of the topic, Joe's presentation style fit his message to a T.
His basic point is that the pressure on humans to conform to whatever group we're in is enormous, but conformity makes us “radically incomplete.” Sure, staff members who hide key aspects of themselves in order to fit in are easier to manage, but doing that is ultimately unhealthy. And when our people are holding back important elements of their real selves, they're almost definitely holding back characteristics, skills, and behaviors that would be good for our organizations.
Illustrating his point about how difficult but ultimately positive opening up is, Joe led us through a series of exercises where we gradually revealed more about ourselves to a gradually larger audience.
He walked us through:
- Writing our own obituaries (surprisingly difficult)
- "Who am I?"
- "Why am I here?"
- "What is my gift?"
- "Is there any evidence?" (my favorite of the questions)