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How an Alchemist Runs a Meeting

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

“We tried that. It didn’t work. That’s not happening. It can’t be done.” How many times have you heard these proclamations about a new idea at a team meeting? Guess what? The argument for limitation happens in meetings worldwide. What does it accomplish? Nothing. And. The argument. Is. Old. When I see these dynamics in a meeting, I get my alchemy on. No cauldron. But I use a few techniques to transmute energy so the idea has a fighting chance. Will one meeting change the Grumpy Cat’s mindset and neural chemistry, doubtful. But the truth has a funny way of seeping into the subconscious and that’s where real change happens.

As a meeting facilitator, you’re the orchestra conductor drawing the best out of each musician and their instrument. At the right stanza, even the tuba sounds beautiful. Let’s make some music.

  1. “Direct emotions. Open the meeting with humor.” How many times have you heard that? But who explains the neurological reason why? Me. Collective or individual, when there’s resistance to an idea, no information gets through. None. “La-la-la, I can’t hear you,” says the brain. You don’t have to be a comedic genius, but there’s power in strategically inserting humor. It opens a gateway to receptivity. Which works wonders.

  2. Learn when the past can be your friend. Because memory works two ways. You can recall a good event just as easily as a bad one. So, when the group is especially skeptical and they insist, “It can’t be done,” I ask attendees to, “Remember a time when you accomplished something, you didn’t think possible.” The fist-bump, “Yay me,” accomplishment. That energy is present and available now. Better yet? Your nervous system can’t tell the difference between what you imagine and what is real. So, when you recall that, “Yay me, “moment you’re bathing your system with the neuro chemicals of, “Hell yes, I can.” You are that powerful. Remember, when you’ve accomplished something difficult before. It’s doable. Again.

  3. “How?” It’s the new cigarette. I’ll explain. When you’ve never done something before, by asking “How,” the brain begins searching. The answer comes back, “I dunno, I’ve never done this before.” Asking “How,” arrests imagination and creativity the faculties you need to explore possibilities to develop the idea. When you talk to the group about a never been done before idea, dissolve stubborn energy with questions like, “What can you do right now to _______. What would it look like to _______? Imagine developing this/that. Who’s done what you want to do?” If just one person accomplishes what the majority shrieks, “Impossible!” The mechanism exists. Model it. These questions build a picture in the imagination, which acts as an architectural blueprint for the brain to begin fulfilling the idea. Try it.

  4. Language is more than ABC’s. It’s frequency which contains information that shapes matter. So, when someone says, “It can’t be done,” over and again, the double whammy is this. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The command strengthens the neural pathways and chemistry. Try to change? Those neural pathways fight back like the Hercules. Affirming, “It can’t be done,” ninety-nine percent of the time is like taking a bucket of wet cement and pouring it on your feet expecting to sprint. Use language that takes you closer to, not further away from what you want to generate.

I imagine you’ve seen contemporary variations of these universal principles, it’s hard not to they’ve been around for millennia. Only now we have neuroscience, epigenetics and quantum physics to measure and verify what the ancients taught centuries ago. These principles suggest, materializing a new idea is an inside job, first. What you think, feel, speak and imagine create the internal conditions that cause an external effect. You’re building from the inside out. Strengthen the idea within the womb of imagination. Choose words that work for, instead of against you. Alchemize destructive self-talk. It’s not happening fast enough? Remember, the “thing” which is sense evidence, appears last. At the next meeting, cauldron or not, a pinch of alchemy can take an idea from, “No way,” … to a long way.

Paula M. Parker (c) 2019 Originally published in

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