here I am again – looking forward to many meetings in the next three months
We invest quite much (around 10%) to get to know the course, the outline, structure, the working model and the people: at our university and than in my small group of eight or ten with our women facilitators.
It felt like sports at the beginning – regarding the meeting times it definitely was – for the tools and platform and handling of all together during a zoom-Meeting (not allowed at this point in time at our School).
A very effective and clever criteria to bring people together into small groups: Meeting structure preferences… even thinking about finding four meetings for the following two or three weeks seemed to me craisy (thinking about the problems we usually face when searching an hour or two within the team..).
We were able to find two meeting times and we took time to introduce ourselves and our tasks, working alliance and proceeding to fulfill the upcoming tasks. For me it did not end here – I was not able to understand a part of the communication in the group – my ears felt like a satellite – searching for signals when my colleagues from very different regions were talking with more or less good infrastructure for transmission.
It took me some time to relax after the meetings – with an impression of having done sports physically….. trying to understand every single word, meaning, expression, feeling,… of my new colleagues. It felt somehow exciting with some anxieties “shining” through a good feeling of having chosen the right course for me.

What I realize several times  – Klaus Grawe (2004) theory of consistency and his model of the four psychological  needs: orientation/security – self esteem (protection and enhancement)  – belonging/being part  – searching for lust/prevent reluctance  are active – at work, in learning environments, in common, known and new situations. Many reactions inside me and expressed in the group, in reflections with team mates at work were linked to one or more of these 4 basic psychological needs.

To take time for a start, to label it “connecting week” means also to highlight the importance of this “joining” phase and at the same time to give the group the right to take the time (almost) without any delivery at the end — without pressure of results.
I liked this very actively expressed “connecting week” and I would even give it more time or facilitation. It is the first step, for everyone the fullest calendar (problem to find common meeting times) and on the same time the creation of the ground on which things will grow….

The importance I give to connecting time for peoples not knowing each other – will be raised.

Connecting means getting in touch – not physically