Every summer since 2014 around this time, I get to write one of my favourite and yet most difficult blog posts.

That’s because in late July every year, the Purposeful Planning Institute holds it annual conference, called Rendez Vous.

As you probably guessed, there was no “in person” version this year, so instead, I’m now coming down off the high of “RendeZoom”!

The experience was different, of course, as I didn’t have to fly to Denver this time, and instead got to enjoy it from my cottage near the Northumberland Strait in New Brunswick.


So Much Great Content

What makes this particular blog so hard to write is that there’s just WAY too much great content that I want to share, and even though we weren’t physically together this time, that didn’t change.

We also had a lot of the same “magnetic PPI vibe” that attendees are familiar with, but that is sometimes hard to describe to those who have yet to experience it.

There were some new ways to interact that were designed to replicate the in-person feelings, which is tough to do, but in many ways the experience was even richer in other ways, so on balance, there was not much lost in the “translation” to the virtual world.


A Random Highlight Reel

One way to overcome the difficulty in capturing a week’s worth of learning is to just look over my notes and share some of the things that stuck with me and that I think are worth sharing here.

It’s a lot more “random” than most of my blogs, yet it still feels useful and is definitely heartfelt.

Speaking of heartfelt, I’d invite anyone whose path I crossed during RendeZoom to please follow up with me to deepen our connection, as I’d love to chat more over a one-on-one Zoom call.

The week gave me a new appreciation for my “social capital” and I’m trying to find even more ways to keep “sharpening that saw” of mine.

Likewise, if you’ve never attended, and are intrigued by what PPI has going on, please reach out for a call too.

Balloon in the sky

Steve’s Top 7 Take-Aways

  • Motivational Interviewing

I knew very little about the area of “motivational interviewing”, so the breakout session on the subject was something I approached with intrigue. 

What I discovered is that it feels like a close cousin of coaching and that there are skills and techniques I can learn from it that will make me an even better listener, coach, and facilitator.

  • Inspired by Gandhi 

My friend Jamie Forbes shared some very personal stories about his life and I applaud his courage for doing so (and he was from alone in this regard!).

But I need to thank him for reminding me of this Gandhi quote:

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”


  • Facilitation from Many Angles

Matt Wesley capped off the week with a discussion about the many facets of facilitation, many of which resonated with me and how I see myself in that role.

From being the one who brings calm, to integrating the family’s stories, to connecting the dots for them, there are many ways we help bring out their best.

  • How to “Move Forward”

Ian McDermott once again graces my list this year, for simply reminding me that just trying to figure out how to “move forward” is often the best way to look at a challenging situation, whether personally or when working with clients.

  • Made for “These Times” 

I don’t remember whom to credit for this one, but thanks for the question “How are you MADE for these times as a _______?”

Still reflecting on this one…

  • From Entitlement to Expectations

In a discussion around the theme of entitlement, we ended up switching things around and instead focused on the parents and their need to clarify their expectations.

  • Building Bridges, or Building Boats

Matt Wesley again to close…

Sometimes it’s time to build a bridge, and sometimes it’s time to build a boat.

Thanks Matt, and everyone else who inspired me once again, it was another Rendez Vous to be remembered.


Rendez Vous 2021 – Somehow, Somewhere

It’s too early to say for sure that we’ll be back together in person in Denver next year, and I sure hope that will be realistic. 

No matter how or where, though, I know I will be back, and I’m looking forward to spending more quality time with my tribe.