Root Session Reviews: A paradigm shift

February 24, 2015 // Guest Admin // No Comments // Posted in Case Studies

At the very damp, alive, sap-rich center of the root + river tree is the Root Session. It is the heart of why we exist and how we help people.

While we love to get creative with our work, the Root Session is a standard requirement for anyone who wants to be a root + river client — because, well…we’ll let our clients tell you why.

We recently asked several of our client to share their thoughts on their Root Sessions. All three of those shared powerful, yet different reactions. Here is the first in a series of three Root Session reviews, if you will.


My son-in-law Trent and I met Justin for the first time over breakfast. Afterwards, Trent said, “I’m so excited for you. You’ve finally found the guy who’s going to help you do what you want. I am really impressed with him.” Well, I was too, and I have high confidence in my ability to judge talent. So, I hired root + river.

I went to the Root Session hopeful, but without any expectations. Then, on the morning of the second day, I had a revelation. I looked up and said, ‘I don’t want to coach anymore.’ Emily replied, “I’ve been waiting a day and a half for you to say that.”

Justin and Emily were 100% in service of me. They weren’t there to sell me some process, idea, or method. They weren’t there to sell me anything. The Root Session was solely to understand and help me be clear on what I bring to the market, and then, what it is that I want to do with it.

I have never worked with two people who complement each other so well. Justin is more of a question guy. He asks you, “What are your values? What kind of work do you enjoy?” Those questions may be typical, but what they do with your answers is not.

While Justin is asking questions, Emily is over at a big whiteboard, drawing. At the end of every segment, she would summarize her drawing, which captured the spirit of the conversation.

Even though it seems like Justin and Emily have similar backgrounds, they see things differently. One thing I liked is that they would disagree with one another in front of me. One of them would say, “No, I don’t think that’s what Cort is saying. You’re not listening to him.” And there were times I’d say, “No, no. I think he is listening.” And other times, I’d say, “You know, you’re right. That isn’t what I’m trying to say.” It was a very open, free dialogue.

I left with a schedule, steps, and an overall picture. It was extremely liberating. I got clear not on who I am, which I already knew, but on what I want to do with it.

Justin and Emily represent a paradigm shift. What they are offering is new and different. I haven’t found it anywhere else, and I’d been looking for a long time.

Go meet with these people.

– Cort Dial, author and event producer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress