An experience of dialogue under Wise Tree

wise tree
wise tree


“Why do we think small?”


This is a question from Eugene, a cohort member from the US,  in a webinar.  Eugene and I attended  a vertical development course a few years ago. After the course, we(cohort members) have created a space where the graduates of the vertical development course come together to explore a topic for the purposes of development, individually and collectively.  We call the space “Wise Tree”.


I was wondering about the question for a few days.  Then Eugene and I met in a Zoom call under  Wise Tree an hour earlier than scheduled time.  Eugene shared his first encounter with a snake during childhood.  In the end, both continued with their paths respectively. From Eugene experience, I sense some fears may be due to assumptions and beliefs, e.g. snakes are dangerous. So there is a thought that comes to me.  Maybe I play small because of fear like fear of failure.  Below are what I have observed in this experience.

1) Eugene has shared an observation and a assumption, e.g. we tend to play small

2) I do not react negatively to his question and start to be curious.

3) I assume Eugene shared his first encounter with the snake because I have shared my fears in past experiences.  So Eugene is observant.


What meanings do you make in this experience/sharing?


I make these meanings.

1) The results of a surprising dialogue with Eugene are not planned.  We both joined the call an hour earlier.  I assume I cannot plan for deeper dialogue.  For my growth, I am always open and curious.

2) Besides openness and curiosity, members of Wise Tree must be honest and courageous.

3) Besides the sense of randomness and the power of openness, it seems there is a bigger power behind this experience.


This experience reminds me of the the four immutable principles of spirit by Harrison Owen

1) Whoever comes is the right people. 

2) Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened.

3) Whenever it starts is the right time. 

4) When it’s over, it’s over.


Owen, Harrison. The Spirit of Leadership: Liberating the Leader in Each of Us . Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition. 


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