(with apologies to any experienced sailors out there if the metaphors aren’t completely accurate)
Below are several attempts, mostly haiku poems, to capture and convey the quality of a particular moment during the virtual action learning facilitation training I was undergoing at the time. This moment came during a presentation on the final day of training, when our virtual set had had time to mature and we had gotten to know more about each other. I can of course only describe my experience of it, but it was whilst we were asking open questions of the presenter and beginning to follow the same line of questioning, as if together we’d understood without having to say so explicitly that we had our collective finger on the pulse of where the session was going.
There was a subtle shift in the quality of our listening and leaning together – consciously attending to the emerging direction, the slow pull beneath the rippling words on the surface – that was nonetheless palpable and powerful.
I am still amazed that we could have had that experience by meeting virtually over Skype, using only the audio, and never having met face-to-face as a group before. It was a moment that signalled the deepening of our connection on that final day of training. I can’t speak for the rest of my colleagues taking part, but just possibly that moment was part of what enabled us to value what we’d experienced enough to decide to keep meeting regularly on a self-facilitating basis – a commitment we have held ever since.