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Connecting under Pressure

It was a business meeting designed to bring a diverse group of professionals together.

The purpose of the meeting was to explore opportunities, find compatibility across complementary and diverse services and make strategic business connections.

The organisers’ purpose was to examine the impact of time-frames and contexts on a group of people as they interacted with each other and then moved on to connect with others.

For most of the participants, this was their first meeting. Unknown to the majority who were present, a core group of individuals who knew others in the room, were invited to take part. Their role was to enable and sustain conversation as the exercise in connection evolved.

It was fascinating to watch the ebb and flow of conversation during the event.

Inevitably, behaviours emerged that facilitated or limited conversation and connection. As an observer, I was required to identify and feed back to the group those behaviours in voice and spoken word choices that hindered and advanced interactions between people and across groups during the exercise.

There were no surprises!

Changes in confidence influenced changes in conversation quality, mood and connection.

Levels of interest waxed and waned.

Disconnection and deep conversation were present, as were polite chatter and disinterest.

At the close of the exercise, we examined the range of behaviours across the group.  Each one of us  gained insights from strangers and built new connections.

The outcome was that, apart from making strategic connections, each of us learnt about ourselves.

We discovered how individual behavior choices communicate who we are being and how we are leaving impressions, in the moment of our interactions, upon others.

The value of the experiences lie in the insights received and shared after the event.

It confirms and consolidates that each one of us can choose, from moment to moment, how to be!

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