Tag Archives : Sharing

4 Tips on How to Get Value Out of Attending Events

Value Out of Attending EventsCan you believe that Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley has hosted 112 meet-ups since November 2008? WOW!!! During that time, I've also MC'd the WOW Conference, lead several women's retreats, facilitated countless workshops, hosted & produced my own tv show and attended hundreds of events for my own personal growth. One thing I've learned through all of this is how to get the most value out of attending events. Here are 4 tips about how to get the most value out of attending meetups, workshops, conferences & retreats. Tip 1: CLARIFY why you want to go to the event. What do you hope to get out of it? Are you looking to learn something new, to be inspired, to meet like-minded people, to have fun? Ask yourself, "how will my life change as a result of attending this event?” I suggest that you write down the answer to these questions in a notebook. Bring this notebook to the event so you can refer to it. The more clarity you have about why you want to go and what you hope to get out of going, you're more likely to get value out of the event. Tip 2: CONNECT with the purpose of the event. You can do this by reading the description of the event. What is the purpose of the event? What are the advertised take-aways? How does the purpose and take-aways align with what you want to get out of the event? Read the bios of the presenter(s), check their websites and make a note of what intrigues you. Print out the agenda or take the event flyer/brochure with you to the event so you can refer to it. CONNECT with yourself as you travel to the event. Reflect on what you want to get out of the event. Before walking in, take a few deep breathes and shake off any stress of the day. Affirm that it will be a rewarding experience and that you will get out of the event what you want, along with some surprising gems. Once you arrive, make a point to genuinely CONNECT with other people. Introduce yourself and ask them what they are hoping to get out of the event - this is a great conversation starter. Make eye contact, smile and actively listen as you engage in conversation with others. In my opinion, the goal of connecting is creating a space for the each person to feel seen, heard, and valued. Hold off on passing out your business cards unless it is asked for. CONNECT to the information shared by listening attentively, asking questions, taking notes and talking with others. If you are an avid notetaker, bring different colored pens to help you organize your notes. Call me crazy but I never leave home without a highlighter! Tip 3: COLLABORATE with others during the breaks. I remember going to conferences in Dallas, Texas several years ago. Some of my best learnings came while standing in line to order coffee. I was known for striking up conversations with the other women in line. I'd ask questions like, "What is one thing you learned in the XYZ session?" "How do you handle XYZ?" "What inspired you about XYZ?' Before you know it, we were having a mini workshop, sharing ideas, insights and contact info. Collaborating with others not only helps you connect with others and exchange information, it also helps you cement your own learning. Tip 4: COMMIT TO ACTION. I always say, it's not what you know, it's what you do. Before leaving the event, write down 1-3 action steps you will take within the next 24 hours. Highlight or put a star next to these action steps so they stand out. Better yet, schedule them on your calendar. If you're up for a challenge, share your action steps with other people. These are tips based on my experience. I’d love to hear your tips - share them in the comments below. 130504_Shannon_33     Shannon D. Silva, MBA is the Founder and CEO of Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley. Her specialty is helping women achieve their work and wellness goals by transforming self-doubt into COURAGE and procrastination into DETERMINATION. She shares her message by facilitating Master Classes and Inner Circles through Unstoppable Women In Action. Shannon is a Facilitator of The Virtues Project and Appreciative Living Learning Circles. She is professionally trained as a Certified Self-Discovery Coach and a Dale Carnegie speaker. She is the proud author of the book, “52 Ways to Practice Self-Care and Create More Joy in Your Life.” With a reputation for captivating audiences with her enthusiasm, authenticity and passion, Shannon is known throughout the community as a catalyst for joy, transformation and creative self-expression.

5 Steps to Sharing the Virtues Project

How can I deepen my spiritual practice? That was the question I asked right before I stumbled across a YouTube video that featured the Virtues Reflection Cards. I was intrigued and immediately went to The Virtues Project website to learn more. From the website, I learned that “The Virtues Project™ empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place.
I ordered the Virtues Reflection Cards in Oct. 2013 and downloaded the app because they were “written for adults to use in daily reflection.” These are the perfect cards to deepen my spiritual practice! I started by picking a card each morning and writing my thoughts in my journal. I soon realized that the virtues were the perfect tool to use as a strategy to maintain my 35 lb weight loss. Self-discipline, moderation, integrity and perseverance became foundational virtues for weight maintenance. Then, I noticed that the virtues laid the foundation for Being Unstoppable, so this became the theme for Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley in 2014.
During this time, my enthusiasm for The Virtues Project grew exponentially and I felt compelled to share this with family and friends. I asked myself, “How can I share The Virtues Project in an authentic way?” This inspired me to identify 5 virtues that serve as a frame of reference for sharing the Virtues Project:
  1. Purity - Have purity of intent. This means that it is important to be clear on WHY you are sharing The Virtues Project. Are you sharing because you genuinely want to share your insights or are you secretly hoping that by sharing this work you can change someone? For example, I shared The Virtues Project with my hubby and I told him how the virtue of integrity helped me track my food intake everyday. On the other hand, if I shared The Virtues Project with him because I secretly thought it would inspire him to wash his dishes instead of leaving them on the counter or soaking them, that wouldn’t jive with purity of intent.
  2. Respect - Ask for permission before you share. Ask the person if now is a good time for you to share. You want the person to be open and ready to listen, so have respect for the person by making sure that now is a good time. If not, ask to share with them later. Bottom line, it’s about timing. I have a lot of enthusiasm about The Virtues Project, but I knew better than to talk to my hubby as soon as he got home from work. I waited until we were enjoying dinner together and said, “Honey, I’m so excited, can I share something with you?” The key here is to use your own language when sharing this work. You want to be authentic; otherwise, you may get the response, “Why are you acting funny?” or “What’s going on?”
  3. Sincerity - Share from your heart. This means to share about The Virtues Project in your own words. In my own words, The Virtues Project is a program to help me show up as my best self. If you don’t share from your heart and with sincerity, it may come across that you’re selling something or reciting a book report. Also, share how this work is impacting your life. Consider sharing a specific example. Tell me, what is more compelling, “The Virtues Project makes a difference in my life” or “The Virtues Project helps me experience more joy in my job because I’ve learned to appreciate what’s good about my job instead of complaining about it all the time. As a result, I feel better about going to work every day.”
  4. Assertiveness - Make your request, if you have one. Oftentimes, when we share something, we want to open the door to continue the conversation. For example, I shared The Virtues Project with my mom and my request was to be able to share my daily virtues pick with her. She was intrigued and decided to get the Virtues Reflection Cards app so she could do a virtues pick too. It became a great conversation starter, “What virtue did you pick today?” Keep in mind, there’s always the chance that the person may say no to your request - that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. Also, some people may be interested in what you’re doing but they may not want to participate at the level in which you choose to participate. My hubby is open to The Virtues Project, but he doesn't do a daily virtues pick like I do.
  5. Gratitude - Express thanks to the person you shared with. It’s always a blessing when you can have a heartwarming conversation with someone about something you care about.
I’ve shared The Virtues Project with lots of people since I was introduced to it back in 2013. Even though I use the 5 virtues I’ve discussed above, I’ve noticed that what I share and how I share it changes as I deepen my own study of the virtues. Have fun as you deepen you own study of the virtues and use the 5 steps to help you share The Virtues Project with others. Let me know how this works for you!
- Shannon D. Silva
Virtues Project Facilitator
CEO Unstoppable Women of Silicon Valley