noun self–def·i·ni·tion \-ˌde-fə-ˈni-shən\
: the evaluation by oneself of one's worth as an individual in distinction from one's interpersonal or social roles
For the past three years, I’ve been researching, studying, and thinking about the concept of self-definition. By that I mean, how we define and redefine who we are; who gets to tell our story when we don’t do it ourselves; the times we’ve been afraid to speak or when our voices were marginalized. Most of all, I think about how urgent it is for us to assess and change all of the above, with intention.
In 2014 when I was working with the Future Project, a colleague asked me to teach a communication session that would help our team hit the ground running as we started a new school year. As Dream Directors, our job was to help positively transform the culture at underperforming high schools around the country. Being able to make powerful introductions that clearly articulated who we were, what we did, and how we could serve them was crucial to building relationships and gaining the trust of students, staff and parents to do our best work. So I sketched out a six-step process for how to tell the most accurate, artful story of who we were. The training led to deeper connections, and a clearer understanding of some of the most pressing challenges facing public schools.
When I left the company, I started teaching the process to new groups of people - from designers and developers at General Assembly to artists & entrepreneurs of color to college students sorting out their steps for life post-graduation. Along the way I gathered feedback, measured results, and iterated the process. It was dope to see how different groups of people were applying it, and the types of projects and ideas that flourished because of their ability to command and share their stories. After teaching the process to over 500 people, I decided to put it in a book to make a bigger impact.
I remember laying all of my training notes, feedback, and ideas out on the floor during my trip to Portugal last summer to write the first draft.
It's an action guide to help craft confident, compelling introductions and articulate your usefulness to the world in an ever-changing economy, and in a climate that demands we put our best foot forward to create change.
Months of edits later, I’m thrilled to announce it’s being published by Berrett-Koehler this September!
To prep for the book release, my company, Oratory Glory, has been collaborating with liberal arts colleges, corporate companies and small businesses, and artist and entrepreneurial collectives to teach the six-step process through TMAY Sessions.
And we’re amped to make sessions available to even more people committed to using their voices and platforms to leave a mark on the world.
That’s where you come in.
If you’re ready to take a leap and step your TMAY game up (*dap emoji*), there’s a few things you can do:
Pre-order Tell Me About Yourself (Previously shipping in May, but now September as the manuscript is now being published in partnership with Berrett-Koehler)
Schedule a TMAY session for you or you and a few friends (use the promo code LOVE to save 20% til March 15)
Bring a TMAY Session to your city, company, college or organization
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Looking forward to meeting and working with you soon!