Welcome to Insights and Implications!
We hope you are enjoying the summer. (Apologies to our Southern Hemisphere friends.) By now, we bet you are all seasoned veterans of online meetings.
At Insight Principles, this transition was initially awkward and unwelcome. However, as Robin Charbit describes below, we adapted, and were ultimately surprised by how well our online work evolved.
We continue to learn more and more each day about thriving in our new virtual reality. Please contact us if you’d like to hear more about what we’re learning and doing.
All of us at Insight Principles
Connecting Through a Screen
If you’d asked me back in February whether online could equal – let alone beat – a face-to-face meeting, I would have said no.
Since then, I’ve had an interesting (and, in hindsight, obvious) realization about what’s really at work when we connect.
When COVID-19 shut down our usual activity, we started reaching out to clients and offering introduction and refresher sessions. We don’t know how to make ventilators and can’t volunteer in hospitals, so this was our way of helping people deal with the difficulty they were experiencing.
Fast forward four months. We have conducted nearly 100 sessions and spoken to over 2000 people. The people we’ve talked to regularly report the benefits of remembering or being introduced to the understanding behind their moment to moment experience, but we also frequently hear something surprising. Participants said things like, “I preferred the online session to the face-to-face one”, or “The online format really helped”.
Curious to say the least!
As we asked more questions about our online sessions, participants told us they felt more comfortable, less self-conscious, and could see and hear us and the other participants more clearly. When they were engaged, they told us, the screens separating us more or less “disappeared”!
Aside from the utility this information provides to our current work (we went on to create online versions of our regular face-to-face programs), I also had my own insight as I realized/remembered how human connection actually works:
- You are living in a thought created reality. The outside world (i.e., external circumstances) can’t make you experience anything without your thinking being involved. How many times have you been in a face-to-face meeting and “checked-out,” or had something on your mind which made it hard to pay attention despite being physically there?
- The “real world” is experienced in your mind. You are reading an email right now, for example. It looks like this email is “out there” on your screen, but where are you really seeing or experiencing it? In your mind. Your mind is the only place you can actually experience anything.
- Your mind is designed for success because it is part of the intelligent energy that makes life possible. All of us – all human beings – are already connected to the same energy. When your mind operates consistent with its design, you will experience this connection. I’m sure you remember a time when you were talking to someone on the phone and felt deeply connected. The other person was not physically with you, but courtesy of your mind (and theirs!), you felt and experienced the connection.
So what’s the conclusion? Although you might have a preference for in-person interacting, physical proximity is not a requirement for human connection. The format of an interaction doesn’t matter if you are present and engaged. Conversely, when you are caught up thinking about lots of things (including how the meeting is going or that you don’t like the format), you will lose the feeling of connection. It will be easy to “blame” your experience on the format (circumstances).
If you can see and remember this in real time, you’ll feel connected regardless of the medium. And you’ll know where to look if you don’t.
Deep human connection, impactful learning, and creative problem solving are possible with or without screens. If this doesn’t seem true, take a moment and look inside. I’m certain you will notice a lot of mental noise in your system. When this noise quiets down, you might just find yourself back in the present moment ready for connection.