Supporting Your ABCD Efforts During a Pandemic

user image 2020-09-02
By: John Hamerlinck
Posted in: Reflections and Ideas

So we can't gather. That’s unfortunate. However, we can still do a number of things to move our community change efforts forward.

We can always learn. You can never have enough evidence at your fingertips. Some types of research do not require in-person human interaction. Most data, and technical knowledge attainment does not require conversation. For more nuanced and context-laden research, we may seek out someone with insight into a particular issue.  You can still phone, FaceTime, or Zoom them.

Though it isn't ideal, you could also set up a videoconferencing option to do some appreciative inquiry. This will also give you opportunities to practice your listening skills. You might even be able to help each other work through a challenge that each of you are currently facing.

If you are currently engaged in Zoom meetings with a group of people. Don't just meet and take notes. Start a shared Google doc while still in the meeting. Remind people that meetings are part of an ongoing process. Give everyone some time to reflect and respond to the ideas the document.

Speaking of reflection, you can use all this newly gifted 'alone time' to think more deeply about what worked, or didn't work on a previous project. Get a number of people to do this individually, and later come together to learn from your collective experience and insights. You might also engage in some formative assessment of a project currently on hold due to the pandemic.

Finally, take some time to work on understanding your own tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to convey to another person either verbally, or in writing. Common examples of tacit knowledge include things such as emotional intelligence, or how to speak a language that you’ve learned through immersion over a lifetime. Thinking about the things you know, but rarely think about is one of the keys to uncovering individual assets.

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Dee Brooks
09/03/20 03:41:15PM @dee-brooks:

Fantastic reflections, John! Thanks so much for sharing!

People have often been asking me how I'm coping with not being able to live my nomadic life and basically, it's through a similar approach to what you shared! 

Learning, connection and belonging are everywhere, if you look! 


Dee Brooks
09/03/20 03:45:06PM @dee-brooks:

p.s. I've shared this over on the Facebook group, too!


John Hamerlinck
09/03/20 07:44:16PM @john-hamerlinck:

Thanks, Dee.


John Hamerlinck
About John Hamerlinck
I am passionate about helping people create social change. My website is https://leadingdifferently.com/

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training, research, writing, leadership development, strategic thinking/planning, workforce development, higher ed.

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Are people interested in exploring the use of ABCD principles to change institutional practice?
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