In 2013 we (Anna Caroline Türk (Germany), Doris Gottlieb (Netherlands), and Thomas Herrmann (Sweden)) decided to collaborate together to offer Genuine Contact Workshops in English in Europe. We gave ourselves time to feel into how we wanted to do this and in 2015 we offered our first Genuine Contact training. We had such a good time that we decided to offer another workshop some months later. Since then we have offered more than 25 Genuine Contact trainings for more than 100 participants and supported 19 people to become Genuine Contact trainers in Europe.
The other day we were sitting at one of our weekly meetings to speak about the workshops we’re planning this year and decided to look back at how our working relationship has grown and how participating in the Genuine Contact Organization was the catalyst for us coming together. Looking at it from afar, it seems strange: all three of us live in different countries and have our own businesses, styles, and clients. On top of that, we have to work online in order to collaborate – but against all odds, we felt immense trust and ease to collaborate because we knew each other from showing up in the Genuine Contact Organization. In activities like Mentoring Circles, taking part in working groups, such as the team developing the first Strategic Plan, and working on the Leadership and Management Team, and more.
Building Trust and Confidence
Taking part in activities within the international Genuine Contact Organization gave us confidence and experience with the Genuine Contact way of working and lots of opportunities to get to know each other. We went through good and bad times, through fun moments and truly difficult and painful ones. As we got to know and trust one another, unbeknownst to us we were setting a foundation that has helped us immensely when we work together.
There have been so many benefits of working together. One of the most precious is that from the beginning we decided to always work the genuine contact way. We use the facilitation technique Whole Person Process Facilitation (Advanced Module 2 of the Genuine Contact program) in all of our meetings.
We meet about once a week, sometimes these meetings are short, sometimes they are longer and the transfer-in (what we call landing time) is one of the moments of magic. There have been times when someone is really upset about something and we may take the whole meeting to just listen to and help the person digest what is happening. Other times we move quickly into practical work. It’s been so special to see how long-term repetition of this process has made our work feel easeful and allowed us to deal with difficulties both personally and professionally. The experience of years of transferring in together has helped us feel enriched and deepened our work as facilitators as well as helped us be present when we are participants. As Anna Caroline said, “because of all the circles I’ve sat in with you I am grounded and it helps me to stay grounded when I am sitting with my clients”
Working together feels simpler because there is no question of choice of methods. Because there was never a question about the relevance of the GC Tools, working together allowed us to go to a deeper level of working the genuine contact way. It went without saying that we would use the Medicine Wheel Tool to map out our purpose for working together. It is also normal that we regularly check in about the status of our collaboration using the Genuine Contact diagnostic tools, which helps us stay focused and in balance.
Deep Personal Connection…Even Online
Even though we meet primarily online, it feels like we are colleagues that we meet at the coffee machine to have informal conversations. As if our office is someplace physical even though it is in the digital realm and in that atmosphere mentoring happens naturally and that is another big benefit of our ongoing collaboration.
Mentoring can be about creating a new workshop, like the other day Thomas and Doris were meeting and Thomas wanted to work through the design for a new workshop he was giving about working online.
Our secret is, and remains, to continuously show up within the global Genuine Contact Organization. It’s a great way to build our skills and mastery using Genuine Contact, and it is also a great way to continue building our connection as colleagues and meeting and building connections with other people who show up.
This deep collaboration started to be possible because of our participation in the Genuine Contact Organization. When we look around at other collaborations in our community, we know it’s possible for others too. Please consider becoming a free or paid member of the Genuine Contact organization yourself. We are looking forward to continuing learning with you!