I facilitate virtual courses for leaders on how to engage in open-minded conversations and to create positive and productive relationships and environments. In addition to the content and coaching, a big benefit of such a course is for participants to connect with peers across the organization and to learn from one another.

During this pandemic period of uncertainty, leaders need one another more than ever. Many leaders are working from home and are under a lot of stress both personally and professionally. When they give empathy to each other it enables them to better support their teams.

In addition, they share ideas of how to operate in this new environment. For example, one leader mentioned that staff were worried about resources being taken away from some projects and thus job security for his team. Another pointed out the need for the project and how the changes were temporary to respond to Covid-19 issues. The first leader was relieved and had a way of responding to his staff.

Peers are positioned to provide empathy and support in a way that others are not.  I believe this is a time for peers to convene in small groups using the virtual platforms and technology to provide support to one another, to engage in creative problem solving and to encourage engagement and positive cultural change.

Peers could be convened to find creative ways to move forward with the goals of the organization and to work on projects that will benefit all. During this liminal space it will not be business as usual. It is an opportunity for new structures and new ways of communicating. Participants in my programs say the convening is a respite and positive experience. It is rewarding to hear about the impact on staff and the organization as they take collective action.

Platforms such as Zoom offer functions and ways of connecting that are efficient and effective. For example, all participants can be seen and the chat function allows all peers to be heard and a way to generate innovative solutions.

Support peer conversations for greater impact on all levels.