My Three Key Learnings from VizThink Nord Meetup

Meeting fellow Visual Practitioners is always a highlight in my calendar. I love to be 100% the nerd I am and share and chat about all things “Visual Thinking” with peers who are fully in it as well. I guess you know that feeling, even if it’s not related to Visual Thinking, but the topic you are burning for!?

I had the pleasure to speak at the latest VizThink Nord Meetup - all virtual of course, but enjoyable. We expended the planned 60 minutes into 180 minutes. And at least for me, time flew by like nothing.

My personal key learnings from the session, which might apply to your next interaction with someone else too:

  1. There is always someone who’s journey has just begun.
  2. Being open and truly transparent will cause wonderful conversations.
  3. A smile goes a long way.


  1. There is always someone who’s journey has just begun
    Even though we might have years of experience in our field and work for even longer, there is always someone who started just today. In the meetup we had participants starting on “Visual Thinking” with this very meetup. They never had a real touch point with it before. If you try to see the topic through their eyes, you not only learn to speak differently (and more clearly) about your topic, but you can see how far you have come already on the journey. How can you help them learn from your mistakes?
  2. Being open and truly transparent will cause wonderful conversations.
    I’m always on the outer edge of the spectrum - sharing everything I know if I’m asked for it. There is no topic (I mean… nearly no topic… ahem) that I wouldn’t speak about in public if I can help others on their journey with that. During the meetup we had some really profound conversations about starting a self-employed business. These conversations wouldn’t have come up if I wouldn’t have shared my own mistakes, successes and even pricing strategy from day zero until now, 12 years later.
  3. A smile goes a long way
    When you host a meeting or being invited as a speaker, be nice and smile. Even if you don’t have the best day in your life (which share anyway), put a smile on your face. You’ll be amazed what it does with other people. I regularly get the feedback that I can create an open and safe space to collaborate and work effectively together - even on tough topics. And one of my major tools for this is my smile. By the way, a smile goes both directions. If you smile for a minute (or an hour) your brain thinks you’re in a good mood. And eventually you’ll get into a good mood by that!
    Yes, content, concepts and structure are important. But people will keep your memory longer and more intense if they remember someone who could step into their shoes even when they just started off, who shared openly and who spent them a smile.


To hone all the lovely people in the meetup, I’m reposting some of their sketchnotes here. Please hop over to their Instagram accounts and give them your love!

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