First-time High Ed Web presenter Karli Champ started off her session with this quote:
“This is a rambling pep talk. We are all awesome, and we’re going to focus on ourselves for the next hour.”
As the backchannel shows — one tweet called her session a “virtual group hug” — she succeeded in pepping up her audience.
Before diving into her session, Karli oriented us back to the office with a video she made of her own office. This clip featured various co-workers asking questions or making requests — one by one, a coworker popped up, with the questions overlapping, resulting in chaos… it was a brilliant demonstration of how we all might feel from time to time. Overwhelmed.
Karli passed out a worksheet before the session started and, throughout her presentation, we filled things in as she moved from one topic to the next. (Not only was this session informative and beneficial, but it was also organized and so thoughtfully planned.)
She talked about two forms of stress: acute survival stress and chronic stress. The latter, she explained, is when our bodies aren’t in *actual* danger, but our bodies misperceive it as such.
Karli then talked about three types of stressors: ideas, people and situations. She took us through what each of these might cause stress and then gave tips on how to rethink things as we are experiencing them:
- Ideas are neutral
- People are complex
- Situations are opportunities
For example, if a certain person stresses us out, she suggests: “Think of that ‘problem person’ in softer terms. It will help you moving forward as you interact with them in the future.” She used an example of an interaction with a professor on her campus; Karli wasn’t having much luck communicating with the person or in meeting some project timelines.
The two met in person and, when that happened, Karli’s perception shifted a bit. “I became inspired by all of the hard work she did, ” she explained. So, sometimes, working together takes empathy for each other’s efforts.
Karli’s presentation ended with a group activity that allowed attendees to get to know each other better as well as end things on an inspirational note (by giving a personal note to the person you’d paired up with as well as one you wrote to yourself.)
IMAGE CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons/Ana. C