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Episode 095

January 6, 2021

095: Workshop Your Life with Gabrielle Santa-Donato

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    When Gabrielle Santa-Donato said, “we need to be intentional about this transition”, she wasn’t talking about virtual workshops or exploring a workshop challenge.

    She was talking about creating a post-pandemic world.

    We’ve grown used to adjusting – to remote work, to lockdowns, to loss. What if we’ve become so adjusted to adjusting that we risk moving out of the pandemic without intention?

    Gabrielle knows this better than most, having taken a role at Airbnb facilitating the adaptation to remote work. That alone is a worth a podcast episode, but so is her fascinating experience at the Stanford Life Design Lab.

    This episode is a wonderful walk-through Gabrielle’s career, where we are now, and what we can all do to redesign our lives in trying times.

    Find out about

    •  Why showing up as your authentic self isn’t always the best thing for your workshops
    • What life design is and Gabrielle’s fascinating journey in the field
    •  Why reframing our constraints can open up a world of possibility
    • How to know when to prototype beyond your comfort zone and when to take smaller steps
    • How Gabrielle has shifted from teaching and facilitating life design to facilitating Airbnb’s managers
    • How we could workshop our transition out of the pandemic

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers

    01:35When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?

    04:03What’s the signal that says you guided a group successfully?

    03:45What did you learn from this experience – did it shape your view of facilitation at all?

    07:15How do we draw the line between being our authentic selves and being the facilitator participants need?

    08:42Do you think you can bring more of yourself to a life design workshop than a managerial one?

    13:31Can you explain more about what the Stanford Life Design Lab is?

    16:10How much do you life design to your personal and professional life?

    19:19How can you tell when the right moment is to step outside your comfort zone?

    22:52Is there a perfect time to redesign your life?

    27:18Life design asks us to be both facilitator and participant. Is this possible?

    38:07Can facilitators actually facilitate their own life?

    42:47What is your experience with co-facilitating meetings with managers?

    48:27What is something you’ve learned from the life design process that you think can apply to managers right now?

    52:13If we could workshop the worldwide transition out of the pandemic, what would it look like?

    57:42What makes a workshop fail?

    59:16What’s your favourite way to trigger transformations in a workshop?

    1:04:14 What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this conversation?


    Visit Gabrielle’s website

    Listen to Gabrielle on “The Everyday Worker

    Watch Gabrielle’s life design webinar for the Harvard Alumni Association

    Learn more about the Life Design Lab at Stanford

    Watch Gabrielle’s “Designing Your Life in Uncertain Times

    Watch Gabrielle’s “Life Design 101” talk for Outwild Online

    Connect to Gabrielle