August 2018 – “Dialogue in the Dark”

What an absolutely fabulous experience! First though, our thanks must go to Glenda Hutchinson for creating this opportunity for ODA, its members and guests, and to the co-facilitators for the evening, Catherine and Russell, who created a safe and secure environment for us. This event was billed as “a workshop unlike any other”, and it certainly lived up to that expectation.

Working in total darkness didn’t just remove our sight but also removed many assumptions and prior learning we typically carry into problem-solving, interpersonal and organisational situations. It was like starting with a “blank slate” (tabula rasa) because we had to re-establish our ability to accurately and effectively interact and communicate which in turn meant that our language, our values (particularly respect and trust), our interpersonal skills and usual problem-solving skills/methods were all called into question i.e. we could not rely on what usually worked for us.

We had to re-build our social connection apparatus to achieve our goals, and it was this experience that made the evening so worthwhile. There were so many learnings at different levels particularly the process of how teams form and grow. In terms of OD, there are many, many applications for this workshop at an individual, team and organisations level and one that is worth investigating if you are working on communication, team and/or leadership issues.