"...and I rose, in rainy autumn, and walked abroad in a shower of all my days" — Dylan Thomas
I am an explorer of human relationships, a listener, integrator and untangler. I journey into the heart of corporations and non-profits where I offerand to awaken the dormant creative spirit therein, encouraging leaders and citizens alike as they discover new ways to show up for work, to collaborate, and to discover their greater, shared purpose.
I draw on thirty years experience in the fields of group facilitation, social service, theatre, design, software development, theology, organisational restructuring and individual counseling to inform my work, my thinking. If you'd like to talk with me, please get in touch.
"A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living." — Luke, 15:13
It is, perhaps, because of my own tangled life, my walk through briars and thorns, along cracked sidewalks, wandering vaguely, lacking direction and attention, attracted to the lost, the lonely and the crazy, prey to addiction and other mental monsters, bowed but not broken, seeking faith, always seeking, that today I can call myself an untangler.
Life is inherently messy, and my journey has shown me how to navigate, over, under, around and sometimes right through the tangles and obstacles, learning as I go. There were times, also, when I simply embraced the chaos, dwelt there for a while and accepted what is. It is not by any divine providence that I find myself where I am today, in London, in love, inspired, but rather by a series of accidents that felt like choices, and choices that felt like accidents. Sometimes it's impossible to discern one from the other, and to even try is to lose the sense of mystery.
As expressed in, I draw on my experiences in many different fields of employment to inform what I do today. Inevitably I am influenced in equal measure by those experiences in my adult life when I was unemployed or unemployable, the shadow days, the darker adventures where I met the more surprising people, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the mad, the wild, the dreamers, the anorexics, the caetextics, the street walkers, the poets, the fallen angels. Everything connects, every past experience informs the present moment, and carves a pathway to the future. I am what I have lived, and I bring it all to bear in the work that I do today. This is my wholeness, my homecoming, my presence.
"So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him." — Luke, 15:20
...my wife, Rayna, birds in flight, rivers, forests, the crepuscular hour, unexpected moments of tenderness, elegant language, souls stirred by oppression, voices raised at injustice, listening hearts, stillness, and prayer.
"Eternal lover of Thy children, bring us into Thy life, make us sharers in Thy love and transmitters of it. Help us to become serene and patient in the midst of our frustrations, but at the same time make us heroic adventurers, brave, gentle, tender, but without fear and with radiant faces.”
— Rufus Jones
All the workshops I offer are interactive experiences where the learning is multi-directional and the form continually changes to meet the needs of the group. Expect to encounter poetry, drawing, storytelling, socratic dialog, improvisation, creative writing, theatre games, metaphor and, occasionally and respectfully, scripture.
As a participant you will not sit still for long, neither will you stare, passively at a speaker or a slide deck. You will bring yourself, and discover others. You will not be fed knowledge. The facilitation alone is my responsibility, the learning is all yours.
"Tobias is an outstanding speaker and facilitator...very gifted in his ability to be attuned to his audience and add value to diverse groups."
— Alyssa Tool, Assistant General Counsel at Nike
"Tobias has the ability to excite a little bit of disorder which resonated well with our group of innovators and business and civic leaders. He was able to create a group process and an environment where new ideas were shared and embraced. We left the session with the passion to make our organization grow and thrive." — Dale Eldridge Kaye, CEO, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group
"Tobias...beautifully reframed and challenged concepts I thought I knew and understood." — Philiy Lander, Agile Coach
"Tobias has developed the capacity of Truthfulness to a degree not often found in software development. If you are afraid you are not getting the real picture from the people around you, Tobias will help you cut through the cruft and expose the reality... and he will do it kindly and respectfully!" — Mishkin Berteig, Co-Founder and President, Berteig Consulting Inc.
I offer collaborative dialog with leaders and citizens alike. I shall listen to you. I shall hear you. We'll explore your life values and learn how they inform your work. Using story-telling, metaphor and art, and guided by purpose, courage, service, gratitude and the spirit of abundance, we'll discover effective ways to show up in the world, and a way of leading that comes from the heart.
I offer one-to-one or small group consulting sessions. Our work will be an exploration of self—more essentially, self in relation to others. The focus of the work is to know less, wonder more, and open up possibilities for the future.
Your first session is a gift. It is a discovery process to see if we can create a longer-term relationship. Should we be in agreement, and wish to continue, we'll negotiate a compensation arrangement that works for both parties.
I prefer to work face-to-face but for one-to-one work I am happy to work remotely via video for those living beyond reasonable travel distance. Small group work is only offered in person. Recommended group size is 3-7 persons.
Tobias Mayer first caught my attention on Linkedin as an "untangler". I was fascinated with how he described his services. I contacted him. Since then we've been working together remotely. I've learned a lot about myself thanks to his simple but very helpful techniques. I've been able to sort out my priorities and move forward from where I was stuck. I've also appreciated his gentle but firm approach.
—E. Genevieve Williams, Professor at Yeungnam University
I've been writing since 1997 on group work, facilitation, corporate life, oppression, social change, business process, education, theology and humanitarianism. In 1999 I co-authored the workbook, Redefining Success: groupwork with young people, and in 2013 I collected together a set of thirty-nine essays on people, process and culture into a book entitled The People's Scrum: agile ideas for revolutionary transformation.
My more recent writing can be read on LinkedIn and Medium. I rarely write publicly these days but send a monthly newsletter which you are welcome to receive. I'm currently working on a book intended to weave the different threads of my experience into a tapestry of citizenship.