In this article, I want to explore and share the possibilities of bonding deeply while not being physically present in the same room. Instead of being together virtually with online conference tools.
To get to the point let me first give some context.
Deep Connections and Social Fields
One of the most fascinating aspects for me about being human is our capability to connect to each other on a deep level. If there is a safe space for bonding it seems to happen naturally.
Every time I’m struck by the power of it in workshops and retreats. Formats like the Forum, Hero’s Journey, Dreaming Circle and many many more are opening and nurturing us and facilitating reconnection.
If we take the perspective coined by Otto Scharmer around the social field, for me these formats are intensifying and deepening this field. With the social field, the phenomenon is described that happens every time a group of people is coming together and by this is creating or generating an own space of interaction and energy. Every group and meeting feels different. There are a certain atmosphere and vibe to it. If you listen to your body (very good antenna for this kind of things) carefully in these different setups, you will sense it.
From my experience, these social fields are also present while online conferences via Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, etc. Even that we can only see and hear each other, there is an atmosphere, a tone to every online meeting. By sharing the same moment in the same virtual space, it seems that we already connect to each other and a field arises.
The amazing thing here is, that most of the tools described earlier, are also working in this virtual setup. In the last months, I tried Forums, Dreaming Circles, Hero’s Journey based storytelling sessions and silent meditation in remote conferences and it worked!
It helped the different groups I’m working with to connect more deeply, building trust and ultimately engaging and motivating everyone and the whole team.
Here are some ideas to start with, if you want to try it for your self:
(1) Explain the rules
Listen deeply (empathic, mindful, not judgmental)
Whoever wants to talk, talks.
If one is talking, all others are silent.
Nobody has to say anything.
(2) Start with a short meditation (e.g. 5 Minutes; use a nice gong sound to end it)
(3) You can frame the session with an open question, but you don’t have to.
(4) Now it is time to wait until someone starts talking.
(5) After one finished whoever wants to can proceed. No need to appoint someone to talk.
(6) You can timebox it or let it flow until the feeling arises, that for now, it is enough.
Follow the instructions of this PDF page 14: http://www.dragondreaming.org/wp-content/uploads/DragonDreaming_international_ebook_v02.01.pdf
As whiteboard, you can use tools like miro.com or mural.co
These are just two examples. You can try every tool you want, as long as it doesn’t involve physical contact or deep looking into each other’s eyes. And perhaps even if it doeyou can find ways to replace these parts ;-)
If you’re interested in learning more about virtual teamwork, visit our page https://www.virtual-team-work.com/ and join one of our free meetups or book an online course.