The Group

The Presidents Council Meeting, 28 people in attendance

Highlights

The duration of the discussion fit well in with the meeting time and theme (togetherness). The most interesting part was where there were opposing views on who and how many deep connections we should have, and people being okay with having those different outlooks on how and why people connect.

Challenges

Initially, much like many discussion, getting participants to engage seemed like pulling teeth, but once one person shared, many others followed. I feel like the group may have been too large for full engagement with the time frame.

Opening Activity

Our opening activity was to share experiences of superficial or perfunctory relationships in small groups.

Discussion Questions

Why does the narrator feel her former interactions with the doorman now "seem so heartless"? How much do you feel like you know the people around you? What value do deep connections have in your life? What value do non-deep connections have in your life?

Closing Activity

The closing activity was to share some of the small group discoveries from the opening exercise. I shared with the group for example how my neighbor and I only spoke and waved when we would see each other. After taking the time to reach out and go beyond the shallow, we learned that our daughters are in the same classroom and they are really good friends at school. As a result we now carpool and help each other with after school care. This was a result of the willingness to make a deeper connection, which during the discussion was found to be a common theme: Willingness to connect.

Final Thoughts

The common theme during the discussion was the "willingness" to make deeper connections. While it was acknowledged that everyone is not going to be deeply connected to you, there has to be a willingness as long as its "safe" for both parties, to take the interaction to another level.

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