On Tuesday 28th November 2017 20 women came together to meet, explore and experience the idea of ‘She Leads Change’, and shape the programme. We shared a common sense of having or seeking purpose in our work, a variety of challenges as well as hope and excitement around She Leads Change.

Collectively we discussed the proposed format for She Leads Change and start date: find out the full proposed shape of the programme in the ‘About Us’ section. The evening confirmed that we have enough interest to run two groups concurrently!

If you want to be part of one of these two groups of 6-8 people starting in January sign up to She Leads Change here now.

If you couldn’t make the session, or if you still have questions you want answering, we are running an online session on Friday 15th December from 15:00-16:30pm – sign up to the She Leads Change online Q&A on Eventbrite.

An experiment in peer mentoring

During last Tuesday’s session, we tried out a peer mentoring and deep listening exercise. Why not give it a go yourself with a friend?


  • Choose something that happened recently which left you puzzled or disgruntled
  • Take 7 minutes to talk to your friend:
    • What was the situation?
    • Think about what you are holding onto about it. How is it a pattern? What are deeper underlying issues?
    • What advice would you give yourself on how to resolve it and/or do things differently next time?
  • Your friend will listen closely as you speak, and at the end of the 7 minutes, should spend no more than 3 minutes reflecting back what they heard you say.

MIT lecturer and co-founder of the Presencing Institute, Otto Scharmer, lays out four levels of listening:

  • Downloading – “yeah, I know that already…” re-confirms my views.
  • Factual (listening with an open mind) – picks up new information, notices differences
  • Empathic (listening with an open heart) – “I know exactly how you feel…” sees something through another person’s eyes
  • Generative (listening with an open will) – “I can’t explain what I just experienced…” listening that leads to a shift in sense of self and identity
  • As the friend, you have an active role in not giving advice, or responding, but simply ‘holding a mirror up’ to what you’ve heard.
    • Notice if you are comparing what you are hearing to your existing knowledge or beliefs (downloading)
    • Consciously soften your mind and focus on the other person’s lived experience (factual & empathic listening)
    • And if you’re up for it, see if you can sense the space beyond, the future perspective ‘wanting to emerge’ (generative listening)
  • At the end of the first 10 minutes, switch places and repeat the exercise

Reflection/What did you notice?

  • The exercise forces you to properly listen to yourself, and hear someone else.
    • What did it feel like to give yourself advice out loud?
    • What did you appreciate most? What did you find most challenging?
    • Would you give someone else the same advice if they were in your situation?
    • Did you hear anything that surprised you?
    • Was there anything that particularly stood out, that you’ll apply going forward?

What are we hoping for with She Leads Change?

We closed the evening by writing down hopes for ourselves, for the future and for She Leads Change. It is our intention that the pilot programme begets offshoots run by the participants in other cities and countries, like a spider plant, if you will.

We each took home another’s hope, and a blooming rose, saving our hopes for She Leads Change – and for the future – to share here:


What are your hopes? Sign up for January 2018, and let us know.

 These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to be climbing.”
– Najwa Zebian