At DSE we have no doubt that pandemic times made us diversify, for example our online workshops for inclusion.
But we also can't deny that we love to go back to what we like so much and what impacts our clients so much: total darkness.
This past June 11th, in Rome, our team gathered once again, as it was usual before the pandemic, to execute a series of 3 face-to-face Dialogue in the Dark workshops for a major executive client as part of their annual management symposium.
In the midst of a world that not only does not stop changing, but is changing rapidly, our client chose us so that their managers could experience firsthand what must be their culture today: the way to flourish in a changing world lies in contributing, and for that we have to trust and listen to each other.
To this end, with the help of our local partner Dialogue in the Dark Milan, we assembled a large team of visually impaired facilitators from our network, who came from England, Ireland, Lithuania and Germany to provide a great learning experience to 75 of our client's top leaders and global managers.
During the 3 sessions in the dark, we focused and worked on the following key question – “To what extent am I willing and able to trust and listen to my colleagues and my team?”
Participants worked through practical exercises which they had to undertake and complete in total darkness. Throughout, they were coached by our team of visually impaired facilitators.
We then had some time back in the light where we debriefed together the experience, exploring the thoughts, feelings and actions that arose in this learning encounter. During a rich sharing by each participant, we learned that if we are willing to listen and to trust, it means that we can speak up, take space, and make space, and rely on each other. Listening and trust help us to engage, collaborate and be transparent. And it is listening and trust that will help us to recognize changing environments and new problems and innovate and create new solutions together.
By delivering transformational learning workshops in total darkness, we challenged existing frames of reference to help these participants activate entirely new resources and unused potential while simultaneously providing insight into a lived experience of disability. As we posted before here, disability has a lot to teach us about managing uncertainty.
Through this team-based learning encounter in the dark, we see as leaders that, while we often can’t get to choose uncertainty, we do get to choose how we respond to it… same as we did not choose to live with disability but have chosen to make the most out of it.