Creating Community on Zoom
Oh, my Goodness!
After all of my own resistance to offering my graduate courses virtually, and after seeing that that was the ONLY way to continue to contribute during this time, and hearing people’s resistance to engaging through Zoom, Ruth and I went to work on mastering Zoom, so that it was intimate, released community-based wisdom, and allowed for meaning and authenticity, and lo, and behold! It worked!!!
Here are some comments from folks who recently participated in a retreat with me
The level of connection, trust, companionship that you so masterfully created during our retreat was beyond any I have experienced in any medium. The fact that it was done in Zoom is truly amazing. After the retreat I found myself trying to decode how you did it. It is clear you were truly committed to creating a profound and transformative experience. And you succeeded. Going back to my normal Zoom experience was like going back to a black and white TV after experiencing color for the first time!
– Eric Cress, Principle, Urban Development Partners
Having just completed our annual retreat with Amba on Zoom this year, I was blown away by the depth of our conversation and the intimacy we all felt. When we decided to hold our retreat via zoom this year, I wasn’t sure I was going to participate. The thought of “zooming” ALL DAY, well, I just couldn’t imagine how it could come close to the real thing of being together. Boy were my eyes (and heart) opened. Not only was intimacy not sacrificed, it was ENHANCED. Amba’s structure for the conversation, the paired work in break out rooms, and the frequent breaks, all contributed to a depth of conversation, connection, and a contribution to each other that was over-the-top.
– James Bailey, Prospective Wealth Partners
I am far from an expert. I have taken many courses over the years, and though on zoom might seem more of a hurdle, I experienced it as simply a different experience. Not better, not worse. Some of the positive aspects was the ability to see all of the faces of everyone in the class, even Amba is always looking right into my eyes which really brings me into the conversations. I also appreciated the ability to move, or shift, in my seat and not interrupt the entire class. Being on mute, clearing my throat wasn’t a distraction as it might be in a classroom setting. Things like this might seem small, but when you are involved in a deep conversation and listening deeply, I found it much better to focus on what was being said. I would also say that the ability to jump into a one-on-one conversation and back to the group at the top of a hat was an efficient way to have that one-on-one sharing and brought me closer to the individuals I got a chance to work with. Sure you give up on the side conversations on break, or miss out on letting someone know how powerful their speaking was during lunch, or getting to know others more. But all in all Amba has made the crossing into the on-line experience with flying colors.
– Joel Larway, Market Operations, Town & Country Markets
The decision to do our retreat this year took a bit of development in and of itself. Not being able to be together, in person, in the same room, would we be able to fulfill on the experience we have created over the years, for what this time provides, or would it be a disappointment? As it turns out, no real surprise, Amba is reliable for creating the deep and strong foundation of relatedness needed through the intention of the design, whatever the format. We had a great time, found things we really liked about the independence of this year’s setup, and connected with each other and the opportunity the retreat offers.
To stop for a moment and ‘let our souls catch up,’ to laugh at our common human experience is such a gift. Most of us said it was the best ever!
– Rick Pedersen, Special Projects, Town & Country Markets