After months and months on Zoom, consider doing this exercise at the beginning of your first in-person meeting. This can be done outdoors and in a socially distanced way if necessary.
- Members pair up, inviting each other to find a space in the room or outdoor space where you can privately face each other, separate from the other forum pairs. If both are comfortable doing so, lower your masks.
- Look into each other’s eyes. Appreciate the life and humanity and warmth of the person standing in front of you.
- Greet each other by name: “Hello A”, “Hello B.”
- Hold your hands out to each other – as if to hold hands or to give each other hug if you were close enough to do that. Then put your hands to your side.
- Smile! Even if it can’t be seen through your mask, it will be seen in the glint of your eyes.
- One person speaks first, using a selection of these prompts: (Max 1 minute)
I’m happy to see you because…
I appreciate your presence in our forum because…
I’m eager to hear about [some aspect of your life]
I’m eager to tell you about [some aspect of my life]
- The other person listens for a minute, and then responds in a similar fashion. (Max 1 minute)
- When time is up, extend your hands again in a virtual hug and thank each other for your time together. “Thank you, A, Thank you, B.”
- Move silently around the meeting space, find another partner, and repeat the process until all (or most) pairs of members have met.