I’m getting ready for my first in-person meeting with my fellow mediators since the start of the Covid-lockdown in 2020.
Meeting in person requires a different prep than meeting on Zoom or with a mask. No garlicky hummus for breakfast. Flossing my teeth to remove celery leftovers. Ironing my skirt.
And putting on deodorant to prevent yucky body odors. I haven’t used the deodorant in a while as I’ve been home most of the time. So I feel surprised that it smells like my hairspray.
I don’t think much of it, till I’m on my bike. All of a sudden I realize that it is hairspray. On my last trip I had filled the travel bottle, that I normally fill with deodorant, with hairspray.
In my eagerness to be on time, I didn’t pay attention. I was too excited to finally see my friends in their fullness and not just as two-dimensional faces in a square box.
Fortunately, the bike ride is only five minutes and it’s barely 80 degrees. Not enough to trigger a sweat, so the deodorant wouldn’t have made much of an impact.
What does make an impact are the smiles, hugs, “Hey, can you pass the pizza”, and talking and laughing with the people left and right of me.
Meeting in person is so much richer than virtually. It’s easier to use our sight and hearing to understand someone’s experience. We can convey closeness by handshakes and hugs. We see our shared humanity when we pass the bowl of chocolate around.
That’s why the second leadership circle for nonprofit leaders will be in person too. We start in the first week of May.
Current participants appreciate the warmth and closeness that comes from being in physical proximity and value the community-building component.
They find relief in hearing that they are not alone and that their peers are experiencing the same challenges as they do. Seeing the common threads in those challenges inspires fresh perspectives. They value a sense of peace, knowing that others are struggling with similar issues.
Now, this is not for everyone. For one, this circle is only for nonprofit leaders in middle or upper management. For two, it takes the right personality to get something out of this type of group.
That’s why you can schedule a free discovery session to see if you have that kind of personality.
P.S. I might bring vegan pizza to the first meeting. And I promise that I will use the right deodorant.