The Kensho Experience

Attending a course with us is a unique, immersive, and interactive experience. A lot of people ask about our semi-circular chair arrangement after checking our social media posts. "What is this Kensho thing?"

Well, it's hard to answer without attending, but I can at least highlight some key differentiators to give you an idea of what it's about:

  • We don't have students, we have participants.
  • We don't have a teacher, we have a facilitator.
  • Everyone teaches each other, everyone learns from each other.
  • It's as experiential as it is intimate as it is educational.
  • Participants get out of it what they put into it.

Our courses are like group therapy sessions in a professional context. There is a lot of silence because we spend a lot of time thinking. There is a lot of discussion, too, but it's largely about digesting the content. We process what we learn by sharing, interpreting, and even debating.

We offer optional (and highly recommended) meditation for 30 minutes before each session starts. We usually intentionally ask ourselves to do nothing in addition to breathing exercises, but we sometimes do loving kindness meditation.

Each session is approximately 2 hours of material, usually 50-70 slides containing quotes, bullets, and activities. Our activities are often group discussions (groups of 2, 3, 4, or the entire room), but sometimes require meditation, writing, analysis, and guesswork. It's almost never easy.

When I'm facilitating (not teaching!), I'd say I talk about 40% of the time and the remaining 60% of communication is from everyone else. Since I learn something new every session, it really is just as participatory for me as it is for anyone else.

There are times when people have their heads in their hands. There are times when people look lost. There are lots of laughs and smiles. Our sessions run the gamut. And every time I worry that the material was boring, I get feedback from someone saying, "That was my favorite session."

We also have had tacos, beer, soda, and water at every session, so there's that.

If you'd like to come by and check out a session in the Phoenix area or just want to talk about it, please drop us a line at info-@-kensho.io (remove the hyphens).

What to Consider Before Attending Pause

It isn't easy

Pause is not so much a training program as it is a transformation program. It's very challenging material and you really only get out of it what you put into it because, really, it's all about you. We can only show you aspects of yourself, but it's up to you to act on what is discovered and shown.

In fact, after a session of Pause, I'm often left stunned and bewildered at what took place in the group setting because I'm working through the same stuff as the participants. It is one of the most genuinely human and challenging environments in which I've had the pleasure of working. People in our sessions are authentic in their journey for self-awareness and improvement.

Whether I'm delivering Pause material in a one-on-one setting, a small team setting, or a larger group, we all are so engaged in learning, especially in those moments where a very tough question is asked or a tough reality is faced. It's an amazing experience.

It's uncomfortable

Several times through Pause we remind ourselves:

Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong. More often, people know what they are not good at—and even then more people are wrong than right. And yet, a person can perform only from strength.
— Peter Drucker's "Managing Oneself"

The hardest part about digesting that quote is understanding that you almost certainly do not know yourself nearly as well as you think you do. Module 1 of Pause is all about discovering and understanding yourself. We give you exercises and assessments that show you how you're intrinsically motivated.

It leaves us with the question: If we don't know much about ourselves, then what do we really know about anyone else?

It's legitimate work

Throughout Pause, we look at some of our most challenging relationships and professional speedbumps. We have open discussions about these situations and how we can make the most of our next opportunities to improve those challenging relationships and how to get out of the way of the speedbumps (which are usually ourselves, by the way).

You may walk away from a Pause session with more questions than answers, and that's a good thing. We want participants to investigate themselves, their biases, and their worldviews to ensure they are being respectful, humane, and genuine. As a facilitator, I do very little guiding and a lot of question-asking and when the group digs into a topic, it can get intense.

I really hope to meet you in a Pause course, or at least talk to you about it. Please reach out with any questions or leave a comment.

Want to Customize Pause?

We designed Pause with customization in mind. If you are interested in a special version of Pause that's tailored to your company or to a specific team, we are happy to work with you. Here are some customizations we've talked about internally:

In Your Office

Maybe you and your team aren't in Phoenix, Arizona. Or maybe you are. Either way, you want us to come on site to deliver Pause? No problem! There aren't any special requirements to keep the program bound to our office. If you've got a projector and screen, or a large television we can use, and a room with enough chairs, that's pretty much all we need. We'll bring our own gear, swag, and materials.

Customized Modules

The 5 modules in Pause are pretty generic so as to meet the widest audience possible. If you would like for us to tailor the program to your company or tie in specific aspects of your approach, we're pretty flexible about that. After we talk a little, we'll share our materials with you and ask you questions to ensure that we can modify Pause and still make it highly successful for you and your team.

Virtual/Online Delivery

While it is not an ideal scenario for us, we understand that there are a lot of distributed teams out there. That's cool with us! We are able to do virtual training, too. As long as everyone in the training is available at the same time, then we can do what we need. We're equipped with all the tech we need to deliver a successful virtual training experience.

Co-Delivery

If you're interested in helping us to deliver the Pause content, that's excellent! We think it's great that someone can be an internal ambassador and representative of the material. All we need to do is ensure we can remain highly aligned before, during, and after the delivery so as to ensure a great experience for you and your team.

Employers: Why Pause?

We've had a few people ask why a manager/boss should consider sending employees to our Pause program. The answer is fairly simple, but it's not brief.

Allen and I are both people managers. We've hired people in all sorts of fields at all levels of experience. Whether filling an entry-level, part-time role or a six-figure, senior-level role, we've found that skilled people are a dime a dozen. Great team members and solid communicators are much, much harder to find.

The availability of role-specific skills training materials is very high. A half hour on YouTube can teach you how to plumb a shower, balance a company budget, or build a fusion reactor in your backyard. However, the training that employees need to be mature and effective members of a team is not widely available.

Pause is a program written in collaboration with senior-level technicians and executives specifically to cover the "soft skill" mentorship that many employees lack and many mentors have trouble articulating and passing on. By cherry-picking the best and most relevant content from highly successful professional development books, we are able to save Pause participants years of frustration and searching for career goals and next-steps.

We initially created Pause to target high-potential employees and help fill in the "soft skill" gap. It turns out that the content of Pause is so potent, even the C-level folks in our pilot group found it eye-opening and applicable.

If you're an employer thinking about sending someone from your team/company our way, give us a call at (602) 999-1711 or send us an email at info@kensho.io. We've got great testimonials to share, too!

This class has helped me immensely understanding my values, the way I work, a deeper understanding of both my boss and company, and how to align not only to improve my work performance, but find incredible balance and peace within my work/family life. I have learned how to understand people and goals in a completely new way, and the group style and activities helped me express my ideas and goals in a safe comfortable environment. I have never been to a class where I did not have an ah-ha moment where the new lesson just appeared so clearly, and the amazing teacher worked well to make me feel like not only was I a student, but a living part of Kensho. I would highly recommend this program to companies as well as individuals seeking a higher understanding. I know I will take these lessons through my life.
— Carmen L.