The past months I have been taking a online-to-offline course, which changed around my life in Germany :-). The course is called “Transforming Business, Society, and Self with U.Lab“. I already wrote about it a little bit on this blog.
The local hub (ULAB Frankfurt) was a home coming experience and it woke up my creativity. The greatest insight I got was realizing that the group of people in the hub is “holding me”, while I am doing my work and projects: I no longer feel like I must do it by myself. Maybe this sounds like a truism. But this was the first time in my life that I could really FEEL it and not only THINK it.
We created what is called a “community of practice”. We come together every week on Thursdays (15.00-20.00). We start with a check-in about how everyone of us is doing. The past few times we got 3 minutes each and that worked quite well. We write down questions that pop-up or that we have taken with us and write them down on a big piece of paper in the middle of our circle. Usually it is quite clear which question(s) we are going to work with, and other times we vote by placing three votes on the paper (eg. three different items or three votes for one item).
I realized that working together each week is important to me. If you miss one session, it’s not so bad because you see each other soon again. Where as if you meet once every month of every two weeks, missing one session means not meeting for one or two months. Of course it is a commitment and a time investment every week and we don’t expect everybody to be there every week, but for me it works well.
This rhythm marks for me the difference between the U.Lab and other communities/ networks I am part of (eg. Pioniers in Authentiek Leiderschap, Adviseurs in Dialoog). By meeting on a weekly base it becomes a space where special ánd regular questions can be worked with. And the group members have become my “colleagues”, which is important to a self employed like me, who also likes to be around other people.
The way we work on questions is quite similar to other communities and groups I have been part of: dialogues, social presencing theatre, market place of questions and answers, journaling, meditations, physical exercises, breaks (!), flow lab, constellation work, exercises based on theory u, spiral dynamics, always trying to approach a question from on integral perspective (many perspectives at the same time). We try to be creative and of course we have a lot of creativity in the group 🙂 (like all groups by the way…).
Very often a question of one group member is a theme for more members and therefore we are learning individually and as a group each week. Like all normal groups we also had some tense and complicated situations during the past months (drawing by Christiane Lünser). These situations were very helpful to find out what values we live by and what ways we want to interact. The Theory U-concept itself helped us to “stay with it”. To observe, observe and observe. To try and keep an open mind, open heart and open will, even in a stressed situation. Overcoming moments like that as a group made our courage, compassion and curiosity grow.
If you have any questions, please post them below. Or if you want to join us, please let us know.
Thank you all: Karin, Elke, Thomas, Angelika, Ashraf, Yannis, Holger, Helga, Christiane, Daniela, Hans-Henning, Ruth, Ali, Claudia, Michelle, Sherin, Eva, Olesya, Christian, Martina, Isabelle, Bettina, Hartmuth, Doerte, Sebastian, Ben and more.
And I am looking forward to continuing in 2016!