I called this session because I have been using the symbolism of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds to help distil some learning on an arts facilitation course called PathMakers. This in turn become a workshop offering in December that, in the first instance, included a pack of cards as an evaluation tool for group learning experiences. I would like this year to extend how I use these ideas and, following some coaching from Chris Grady, drafted the blurb above to focus on developing a day-long training for corporate participants in the next few months.

In an hour-and-a-half D&D session I didn’t know how much I would be able to cover or who would come but it was a really useful session for me and, I hope, for the few people who came.

I laid the pack of cards out as a star-shaped pattern which looked lovely on the yellow circle.

Clubs: How fired up are you?
Spades: How clear minded are you?
Hearts: How kind do you feel to yourself and others?
Diamonds: How grounded are you in your gifts?

These questions were the key ways in to discussion and reflection.

About half of the session was a one-to-one where we focused on recent workplace challenges. Later with two new people at the session I experimented with using the model to explore the present moment and I enjoyed getting some very helpful feedback about how to frame further questions.

The Devoted and Disgruntled logo with the dagger piercing the heart took on a fresh significance for me during the session. On the one hand the dagger/sword/spade is a representation of clarity of mind and the work we do on issues we’re passionate/devoted about is what happens here at D&D. On the other hand it’s also clearly a representation of conflict and wounding and the beauty of the challenge is of course how we accept ourselves and others with our wounds and scars and disgruntlements.

Phelim shared with me a card deck that serves as a reminder of strengths to draw upon in facing different tasks or challenges. I also had a deck of archetype cards which I’ve found useful in helping people conjure up a virtual team to deal with work priorities and time management issues.

Taking this forward I am fired up and encouraged to offer some more one-to-one sessions to sharpen the questions I use.