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SEED Discover


SEED Stretch
SEED Enliven





SEED Ennoble

“Enrolling allies” is a craft you can practice and develop into something of an art.  It’s kind of like dancing with your heart. How do you dance in conversation with a potential ally, such that shared agreement and enjoyment emerge? You want to be fully authentic and free in conversation.  As Samuel Beckett once said, “Dance first, think later.”  But also like dancing, you can practice your steps.  You can learn to really tune into the other person’s rhythms and movements.  To quote Martha Graham, ”Dancing is just about discovery, discovery, discovery.”

Stretch Mission
Stretch Mission

STRETCH: Who would you like to enroll in your mission?  Think of someone who has not previously been invited to engage in your work, who has something to offer, shares some of your values and maybe cares deeply about the results you seek. Is there someone who could add more value by becoming less passive and more actively engaged?  


For this exercise, hold in mind an unusual ally, a person “beyond the choir,” outside your everyday web of interactions, perhaps entirely outside your profession or field.  Stretch your sense of possibilities!  


ENLIVEN: Enrollment is a multi-staged process. Do some research before you meet with your enrollee.  Assemble what you already know about her/his interests.  (The developmental scale presented in our October Tip of the Month will be helpful for preparing questions to invite your enrollee’s movement from “unaware” to “action.”)


Overall, your quest is to discover connections across two rich but disparate contents, yours and your enrollee’s. 







The promise of enrolling participants (versus simply getting their buy-in or passive approval) is something owned and appreciated by both parties. Your dialogue needs to get you both dancing. 


a) At the start of your meeting, suggest a question that you will each answer in turn to connect:  “What excites you about X (the reason that we have come together)?” Or, “What brings you to so passionately engage in X?” Suggest taking two or three minutes each to respond.


b) Now try to gain a sense of what is going well for your enrollee and what is getting in the way of her/his dreams?  What’s missing?  What needs to happen?  What are some of the great challenges?  Use Reflective Listen and seek clarification to understand what is important to her/him.


c) Then you can start weaving a shared vision. With awareness of your own hopes and biases, share the distinctiveness, the unique promise of this opportunity to co-engage.  This is more of a skilled advocacy, directing their energy to what might be mutually enhancing. Introduce aspects of your work in connection with what s/he has shared. 


Four guides:

1. be transparent (“this is where I am coming from”)

2. relate it to what s/he has said

3. present with enthusiasm and passion

4. be open—invite more: “What is making sense to you?”


Check for understanding.  Ask for her/his thoughts on what you’ve shared. 
Any noticings?

Multi-staged process
Shared Vision

We’d love to hear how this works for you:

DISCOVER: “What are we hearing as shared vision? Let’s have a look at what we’ve come up with.  I heard XYZ.  That’s a lot of great ideas.  What else are you thinking?” 


Suggest a quick brainstorm on concrete items to determine next steps.  Try to end with firm agreements of who-will-do-what-by- when, to bring your shared agreements to the next stage. 


Close your meeting with appreciation for the time spent together.  

Shared Vision

ENNOBLE: Share a bit of what you are grasping about her/his deep interests.  Then ask:  “How does my work connect with the passion you’ve shared?”  Make an explicit invitation or ask:  “Are you getting a sense of how you might want to be involved?  What might it look like?  Is anything beginning to surface?” 

Tip of The Month – ARCHIVE


April 2017 – Are We Dancing Yet?

March 2017 – What Is Going On Here and How Can We Work With It?

February 2017 –  Are We Listening for What Is Trying to Happen?

January 2017  Designing Your Own Website, Without A Designer



December 2016 – Are We Facing Our Fears?

November 2016 – Have You Identified Your "Strategic Who?"

October 2016 – How Are You Watering Your Own Garden?

September 2016 – What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

August 2016 – Shall We Dance?

July 2016 – Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

June 2016 – What Is Your Secret Sauce? 

May 2016 – Changing the World and Reporting It, One Butterfly at a Time

April 2016 – The Right Tool For The Right Job

March 2016 – Listening For What is Trying to Happen

February 2016 – How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

January 2016 – New Year. New Possibilities. Get On It. 


December 2015 – Trust: A Gift that Keeps on Giving

November  2015 – A Team that Reflects Together ... Rocks

October 2015 – Are You Contributing from Your Sweet Spot?

September 2015 – What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

August 2015 – Emptying the Page to Empty the Mind

July 2015 – Emptying the Mind for New Insights

June 2015 – What do we do when our beautiful plans get derailed?

May 2015 – Who will Bring Your Plans To Life?

April 2015 – Planning with the Magic of Kairos Time

March 2015 – Vision Infused-Planning

February 2015 – Bringing Our Visions to Life

January 2015 – Visioning: We'll See It When We Believe It



December 2014 – Busting Out of the Habit of Critique

November 2014 – Enrolling Allies

October 2014 – Achieve Your Mission

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