Jullien Gordon on Improving Career Workshop Experiences

In Chapter 14 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon answers "How Are You Learning to Facilitate More Effective Workshop Experiences?"  In his public speaking work facilitating career education workshops, Gordon shares how he has transitioned from providing his audience tools and answers to asking questions and allowing his audience to come up with authentic answers.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: How are you learning to facilitate more effective workshop experiences?

Jullien Gordon: Originally, when I started this work, it was all about giving people the answers, the 8 cylinders of success. Here, here’s my 8 cylinders of success. Try this on and use it for your life, implement it. And while 5 of the cylinders may resonate with you, for somebody else, it may be 3 cylinders, for somebody else it may be all 8. But I found by instead of giving answers and just by asking the right questions, I help the individuals in the audience actually come to their own authentic answers. And it’s their own authentic answers that are gonna stick with them throughout their life. I can give you my weight loss program but if it doesn’t align with who you are then your chances of actually completing it are going to be slim. But if you come up—if I ask you the right questions in terms of your eating patterns, how your body reacts and you come up with your own authentic answers for your diet, your exercise routines, et cetera. What kind of exercise is fun for you? I can’t just run around a track. I need a ball. I need to be playing basketball or I need to be playing soccer. I can’t exercise just by running around a track, that’s not fun, that’s not engaging for me. So, again, it’s been by asking the questions and trusting that the people know the answers. That’s what interviewing is all about, the assumption is that the answer is already within you. And if I can create a safe space and ask the right questions and bring it out, then you are creating your own plan and strategy for the next phase of your life.