“Everything is not fine” – Grief in the Collective (Self-Study Program)


“We believe that change with its accompanying loss, grief work, and conflict is constant. Organizations that develop mastery in working with change can sustain optimal effectiveness. These leaders and organizations recognize that change cannot be managed, that energy spent trying to manage change is wasted energy, and that productive use of individual and organizational energy is achieved by working with change rather than against it.”

          – one of five foundational beliefs of Genuine Contact

How do you bring up a topic as heavy as grief in your collective circles (organizations, teams, groups, and communities)? Collectives, like individuals, also go through constant change – particularly in recent times.  These changes could be positive or negative.  It could be as small as a change in the cozy office setup or as big as a change in leadership or the end of a project, receiving a big grant, or a merger with another organization.  

Covid has brought its own set of changes and challenges – working from home, loss of projects, laying off people, a shift in needs, changes in the external environment, reduced time horizons for planning and strategy, etc.  These changes can impact the group as a whole, specific teams, specific locations, or specific groups of people across the organization. 

In this workshop, we discuss what you, as part of a collective, could do to restore the vibrancy of your group over time. You will also learn how to create spaces within a group to explore what people are collectively grieving about at a point of time to allow for a sense of individual and collective awareness and offer an opportunity for a group to come together and create a greater will for forward movement. 

You will leave this workshop with:

  • Exploring the idea of “grief” in the context of groups caused by change and why it matters to have spaces to allow this to surface and be discussed 
  • Understanding leadership in a collective that is grieving – roles and responsibilities
  • Experience using simple tools to support a collective awareness around grief in a life nurturing way 
  • Pitfalls to watch out for 
  • Leave with inspiration and ideas to explore this further in our own teams, communities, and organizations 

How do we bring wholeness back to our collective endeavors?  Working with grief in an organization can feel like an impossible task to take on.  Somehow, working with, instead of against, grief allows a collective to move forward in surprising and beneficial ways.


Your Facilitators

Manali Shah, Workshop FacilitatorManali Shah enjoys holding spaces for individuals and groups for conversations that matter.

She engages with various local and international organisations on designing and facilitating learning events, reflective spaces, consultations, visioning and strategy processes. Given the purpose of the space, she uses a variety of participatory methods that bring in our whole person – body, mind, spirit and emotions. She envisions a more joyful and connected world with more and more facilitators.

Manali is certified in Organisation Change Facilitation (Human and Institutional Development Forum-HIDF, Bangalore) and trained in Facilitation, Moderation, Strategic Planning, Organisation Health and Balance (Friedrich Naumann Foundation-Germany; Genuine Contact Space-Delhi).

Her journey with Genuine Contact began in 2013 when she deeply connected with the Whole Person Process Facilitation – this approach and way of being seemed to connect all the various skills, competencies, methods she had been learning through the years. WPPF has become the container which guides her facilitation practice.

Nancy Wells has over 45 years of business experience and expertise, encompassing 22 years as an Information Technology professional and 20+ years working with Leadership and organizational development processes in the Genuine Contact way. 

Her background in both private and public sectors includes the health insurance, investment banking, legal, financial, economic development and natural resources industries.  As a consultant, Nancy has worked throughout North America, including New York, Vancouver and Halifax. She has lived across Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, including two years in an isolated northern community in Quebec.

She is now semi-retired and living in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Self-Study Program

Based on the real-time recording from July 28, 2021, your self-study materials include:

  • audio recording of the original workshop (1 hours, 43 minutes)
  • workshop guidebook (9 pages)
  • workshop whiteboards (20 pages)

These materials are provided for self-study.  You can download the audio file for easy offline listening if you prefer.  In order to make the most of your learning experience, we recommend you listen to the recording while also following along with the whiteboards and the guidebook.

Genuine Contact Specialty Series

This online workshop is part of the Genuine Contact Specialty Series. Each program in this series is designed to showcase an original application of Genuine Contact as developed by Genuine Contact professionals. Genuine Contact provides a blended, synergistic, holistic approach to change and to leadership. It is not about a big quick splash, but rather about developing the skills, knowledge, and capacity to sustain the ongoing organizational change necessary to thrive in today’s constantly changing, complex times.

The Genuine Contact Program and all of its applications are used around the world in the private sector, non-profit sector, development agencies, health and social services, and in organizations of all types.