As humans, we seek connection with one another. At the very core of our existence, we need it.
We are all experiencing this time of great uncertainty for the first time, together. It is impacting everyone in different ways. How can we support one another when we don’t have the answers? We can listen. Listening is one of the greatest ways to show love and care for others.
With this understanding, I decided to try an experiment with my staff at Willamina MS/HS, where I have recently become the interim principal. I sent out an invite for a “Time to Connect”. I invited them to come as they are. Stay for the whole time or only part. Bring their coffee, stay in their jammies, or phone in.
What happened? People showed up. We met babies and dogs and saw where we lived. I was able to answer some questions, but most of all I just listened and we connected. At the end, I asked them how this experience felt because for some of them this was their first time on a virtual call. They loved feeling the connection with each other even though we were all looking at screens. This connection was important.
As we navigate these uncharted territories together, it is important that we find the time to connect and deeply listen to each other. For, in that listening, we will understand the challenges that we are each facing. We will also begin to understand the new possibilities that are emerging in a time that requires us to be creative in entirely new ways.