After 6 months of mondays with De Universiteit, and many insights later, we finally found the time to set up our own coaching sessions. You see, we learn all kinds of great things together in co-creativity with De Universiteit, and they are all invigorating and inspiring, but many of us felt we wanted to touch more deeply onto the subjects at hand, and apply our new insights on ourselves.
So we came up with Coach Surfing, a recurring evening that would enable us to do just that. To coach each other and to help identify the things that matter most in our lives. To help with priorities and steering in the right direction. And by sharing these insights we can carry loads together.
When we put our heads together we came up with a format that we thought would suit our needs. The first half of the evening was to be dedicated to finding out our most profound/important need(s), while the second half would serve as a practical moment to distill our intentions and formulate our calls to action.
Yesterday was our first real night together, and after a familiar in-orderly introduction and check-in round, we laid down our hosting principles and guidelines (suspend judgement etc) and went to work.
We set up clusters of three persons per table, to enable two interviewers to use Appreciative Inquiry on the third person, the subject, while one of the two interviewers would also harvest (in writings and drawings) what became manifest. We asked the group to rotate three times, to allow everybody each role, but only if they felt like it.
We anticipated the need for sufficient time, and only helped to guide the groups in their time management, to allow each with a need to be addressed.
And off they went. In a self organising fashion each group found their strengths and created a sense of wellbeing, while investigating what matters most.
We went far beyond our original timeline, but sensed that the first half of the evening (the inquiry) was most important.
When we finally manage to squeeze in a break, most of us went outside to socialize and clear heads. Practically everybody was buzzing with good vibes and insights, and a lot of the newcomers were talking about the open atmosphere and self organizing principles.
When we came to the last stage, we realized three rounds were not an option, and we suggested we would continue the same setup, but with the focus on distilling “the next step(s)”, to allow us to leave with a small and practical list of things to do until our next meeting. Of course they took all the time they needed, and we ended up doing our checkout round well after 11pm.
The checkout was wonderful! Everybody was amazed about the potential, and wished this initiative would continue to grow, allowing more people to join in. We hoped for this to happen, but to actually hear and receive this wonderful feedback was still a surprise ;)
Tim asked us to come down by breathing in and out together, and so we ended our activities. That didn’t stop us from mingling afterwards and enjoying the night together with a beer tho!
If you want to know more about De Universiteit, you can join our facebook group, or go to our website (see link at top of this article). Be aware that most of it is in Dutch!