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A nice thing about leading Odyssey’s philanthropic team-building workshops such as Life Cycles (the original program where teams build a bike for children) or Helping Hands, (build-a-hand kit), is that we don’t have much business Thanksgiving week. Thus, I get more time on the couch.
When we were packing up and saying our goodbyes to my mom & dad for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend…my mom pulled me aside and said – “Todd, yesterday when you were sitting on the couch with Maggie (our 11 yr. old daughter), and listening to her as she shared what she created and was interested in. I thought to myself…I never had any moments like that with my father. I just wanted to let you know you are a fabulous dad and those moments are precious.”
I was caught with a mix of gratitude for the acknowledgement, though sad my mom never had moments like that with her father. To me that is one of the best parts of parenthood – slowing down, meeting our children where they are, and being open to hear and connect with them. I think at some level that is what we all need. Couch time.

We need to rush less during the holidays and even in our daily lives, slow down and connect with those we care most about and/or work closely with. Maybe not on a couch, though still close enough to be present, open, and connected.
Recently at a Life Cycles program we delivered in Palm Springs, our client had the room set-up in way that was completely different from ‘normal’. No ‘classroom’ style, No ’rounds of 8′, No chevron etc. Rather they brought in couches, sitting room chairs, and ottomans and made 50 little pods (conversation nooks) within the large room for 250 people.
Our client’s goal at this leadership off-site was to create an environment where people would realize this meeting was not ‘business as usual’. That connecting, reaching across typical lines, and sharing best practices is paramount to moving forward. This all tied directly into the style of our work at Odyssey. The program was a grand slam!
Good for those around you – Couch Time. Odyssey Time.