Last Friday, we came together with our international K&S company. We were supposed to spend two days together in Cologne, but instead, we met each other over Zoom. After a plenary start where we all waved to each other whilst listening to the same song, we split up in small groups for a check-in. How are you in the midst of all this?
The power of telling your story
Everybody had a different story to tell. It matters whether you are at home with young kids or on your own. In the city or close to nature. With vulnerable parents or someone else you worry about.
However, there was one common theme in all the stories and experiences: the power of connection. Of telling your story and being heard. Of sharing how you are doing, what worries you and what gives you energy. We kept saying to each other how happy we were to see and hear each other – even if it was via a computer screen.
See the news in each other’s eyes
I always like to work with a check-in at the start of a gathering. It invites personal stories and can therefore invite people's whole selves into the room, rather than just their professional selves. It also marks the beginning of a gathering, Corrigan (2015) for example refers to a check-in as a 'threshold-crossing practice'. It furthermore allows everybody to bring their voice into the room, to be seen and heard, for an equal amount of time. Lastly, it enables a human-to-human connection, for I think a good check-in goes beyond sharing expectations for the meeting and is about truly connecting. As Swart (2016) puts it beautifully: ‘we should pause long enough to see the news in the eyes of the other’. We realised that this is now perhaps even more important than ever. Especially while working virtually and when so much is going on.
Questions to use
We found these questions helped us to have a good conversation. Perhaps they will help you, after all the practical, operational stuff you have dealt with together, to have a strong connecting conversation with your colleagues, friends or family too.
How are you in the midst of all this?
What worries you most?
- What gives you energy?
- What was an unexpected moment of this Corona perdiod you really enjoyed?
- What have you already learned about how to spend your days well?