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Episode 130

September 15, 2021

130: Belonging in the Virtual Space with Jahnvi Singh

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    Belonging is a complex topic at the best of times, but in an age of digital meetings, remote work, and physical distance, many more layers have been added.

    As facilitators, our job is not to make everyone best friends, but we do have a responsibility to create a space in which participants feel open and accepted.

    Which, in other words, means a sense of belonging.

    I was delighted to speak with Jahnvi Singh in this week’s episode of workshops work, as she has some fascinating and unique perspectives on fostering belonging in digital spaces.

    Jahnvi’s decade of experience at the intersection of design, heritage and culture, and learning makes her the perfect person to speak on this topic, as her work so often touches areas tied up in a deep sense of personal belonging.

    Find out about

    • Understanding the four distinct spaces of belonging
    • How we can weave the spaces for belonging into our workshops
    • Why Jahnvi believes boundaries and disagreement are key to successful workshops
    • Why ‘calling in’ our differences is foundational to our feelings of belonging
    • How Jahnvi approaches the delicate issue of cameras on or off in digital workshops
    • How to build in a layer of accountability and equity into group reflection activities

    Click here to read Sara Huang’s article that has inspired Jahnvi’s visual diamond shape framework.

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    And if you prefer to watch our conversation, click here for the Youtube video.

    Thanks to our sponsor Deckhive.  Click here to find out more about the new platform for using card decks in online facilitation. Use the code workshopswork to get the first month for free.

    Questions and Answers

    01:13When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?05:11Could it be said, then, that you are often designing for two clients at once – the educator and their participants?06:31What are the differences you see between facilitating and hosting a group?09:01What is your concept of belonging? 16:23Can belonging be created, or is it some magical force beyond our control? 19:28If we are creating identity in a group, how do our differences fit in? Are they just as important as our similarities? 24:34Is the tension in the ‘camera on/camera off’ issue a good example of this? 27:51What is your experience of facilitating with cameras on or off? 31:10Do you have a particular exercise that helps to forge a sense of belonging? 35:57How do we juggle our awareness of our similarities and our differences at once? They can feel like such opposing forces. 42:04Where do you draw the line between being open and oversharing or domineering in a shared space? 45:12How can you try to adjust one person’s behaviour without risking the overall feeling of safety in the group? 51:45 What makes a workshop fail?52:41What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

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