The Most Important Question

Each time, I’m curious and a bit tense: now it will be revealed what the training has done, what it has meant for the student board after an afternoon working with MoTiv on Voorstraat.

The most important question is not an evaluation: ‘What did you think of the training?’ or ‘Would you recommend this training to other boards?’ with answers along the lines of: ‘The slides could have been more organized’ (by the way, we don’t use slides), or ‘The coffee was fine,’ or ‘I already knew this’ (heard quite often).

In our board training sessions, participants come in with a ‘vague question or issue’ that we delve into during a pre-discussion: ‘What do you as a board want to achieve this year, and please mention two outcomes or matters in which we can assist you in this upcoming training?’

Even that is not the most important question.

Initially, we explicitly address matters at the level of thoughts, logic, and problem-solving; during the training, we delve deeper into them. There is more clarity about the issue, even more insight. Inner thoughts are uncovered, individually or collectively: ‘What motivates you or your team?’ as the MoTiv trainer asks in line with our name.

That question is essential, yet it ultimately is not the most important question.

At the end, -we request a moment of silence-, comes this: ‘Look back on the past few hours of this training: ‘What has happened to you and to each other?’

This question comes as a surprise. People are touched by it and now see that beyond ‘I already knew this,’ there is still a world to explore. Silence descends, tension is palpable, … and the cautious answers are always magnificent, filled with reverence for what has occurred.

The real Work has begun, and we no longer have it under control.

Jeroen van Lawick van Pabst MoTiv TU Delft foto door Joram Boumans

Jeroen van Lawick

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