Your exercise today provided a very good outcome regarding my work with my group. When we started the program the group was very cautious around me, but now we are tight. I never thought that a Saudi, Iraqi and Algerian would vote in agreement upon my ideas and vision regarding peace with Israel. This very simple exercise pushed me a step further. Thank you Alexis, and I really can’t wait to meet you again as I am sure that your wisdom will enrich my knowledge. – Ahmed Meligy, The Jerusalem Post
My Advanced Mediation students thought you were phenomenal. Where have you been hiding? I’m so glad you were able to join us, and that you were willing to step forward and share your insights and experience. Many thanks for your spur-of-the-moment enthusiasm regarding the mediation and facilitation work that you do. Meanwhile, may I pass along your contact information to my students? With thanks and best wishes. – Western School of Law San Diego, CA
I am Ibrahim Tanimoune from Niger, participating in the IVLP program on combating extreme extremism in the Sahel. I would like to sincerely thank you for the welcome you gave us during our visit to your offices with my colleagues from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania. We dare to hope for a fruitful exchange in the future.
I’m one of the Peer Advocates from the Completion Program at San Diego City College. This training has been one of the most impacting trainings I’ve ever received. First I would like to thank you for having such an impact on my academic, personal and spiritual life.
While everything you mentioned in the training was extremely informational, there were a few things that I will always reminisce about – the first one being “listening to understand.” I’ve never thought about listening to understand, and I was surprised by the impact this phrase has had in my life recently. I must admit that most of the time I’m listening to defend, rather than listening to understand.
I also never thought of my workplace has an ecosystem. Now, I’m aware that leadership involves an entire ecosystem and we all have to work as a team, rather than against each other. In addition, the exercise that you had us do with saying one thing we are thankful for in one breath has had a huge impact on my mornings. I find myself doing this every morning whether it’s on the bus, at work or even while getting ready. In the training, you also mentioned, “Reaction is a choice”, while I used to blame and complained when something occurred. I’m now aware that whether or not I react to something, in the end, it’s my choice and no one else’s. Thank you once again for this amazing training, it has been a pleasure meeting you.
Alexis Dixon’s presentation resonated with me the most – it went much deeper than revealing the key ingredients of a great public speaker. The way he defined perfection vs. excellence opened my eyes and I really wish I would not have had that perception when I was growing up in competitive sports. We’ve all had heard ‘practice makes perfect’ but Alexis’ perception ‘death lies in perfection’ was so liberating for me. Perfection is controlled, but excellence is managing the process and allowing for organic growth. Alexis encouraged us to always be authentic and to let our humanity show because that is what connects all of us. We should all strive for excellence – and that is what I strive for in every aspect of my life.
I’m one of the Egyptian participants in the program. We had a workshop with you yesterday, and I’m writing this email to let you know that I’m very excited to meet you and to have participated in the workshop you ran. Cultural diversity and conflict management have been very annoying yet crucial issues for Egyptian political and social change. The ideas and concepts you presented and discussed during the workshop touched a nerve with all of us, especially me as a representative for one of the major players in the political scene today in Egypt!
I felt like I was about to weep while you were explaining the consequences of “listening to understand” and managing the dynamics of the sophisticated situations with “interest” rather than “position” perspective. This because I found you describing my agony. We, I and my fellows, are suffering very painful accusations, from our own allies and partisan base! “You are traitors… you are cowards… you are pro-coup… you are foreign forces agents helping them to divide our country”, they wrongfully accuse us of no charge except not adopting their favorite “position”. Last but not least, I’d like to thank you very much for your time and effective methodology in approaching and deepening the understanding of the need for diversity against the superiority concept and how to manage conflicts. It was amazing! Thank you again.
I am involved in a workshop for organization leaders at the US Embassy in the Central African Republic, so I needed the course that you taught at Coffee Ambassador. Human rights activist Fabrice Anthony Fabrice Kettemallet helped gather victims’ testimonies for the International Criminal Court related to troops brought into the conflict from Congo.
I really enjoyed the exercise with the group. I learned a lot from your state of mind and your approach to dealing with crises. I went back to Paris last week and found a sad atmosphere due to the terrorist attack from November 13th.
Yesterday, I met a dynamic and positive woman who lost her son three years ago. Her son was a military engaged in Afghanistan. When he went home, he was shot to the head by Mohammed Merah, who claimed to be a member of Al Qaeda. Merah grew up in a poor suburb in Southwest France.
After her son died, she decided to meet young people who lived in the same area where Merah lived. They said Merah was a hero.
She tried to understand why Merah killed her son, and she decided to create an organization to prevent the radicalization of young people. She talks with them and tries to discourage them from joining extremist organizations.
Yesterday I met this woman in Paris. She received the Prix from the Chirac Foundation, an award for her work promoting inter-religious dialogue in Paris… It reminds me of the story you told us in your workshop.
– Radio France Internationale, Reporter/ Africa desk