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Keep The Lessons Learnt

Leonie Cutts

We have successfully turned the page of the calendar to a new year. Phew! As 2021 is in the early stages, I find myself still catching up with people for the first time this year. One of the first questions one of us will ask is “how did you survive 2020?”. This often leads to talking about what we learnt last year.

Last year gave us lessons in spades. As we now embark on the new year, it’s prime time to reflect on the lessons and decide what is important to take into 2021 and perhaps beyond.

In our recent Unpacked session, we did just that by opening with the topic:

Go through your pack and find 2 cards that for you, describe your experience of 2020.

What opened up was a conversation about the highs and lows, and what people noticed about how they responded. There were themes that arose about the importance of connection, having self compassion through the highs and lows, an increased sensitivity to world events, and the impact on us all.

What I noticed as we did this was that everyone was keen to participate and share, which meant that the opening topic took quite a bit of time. I know that when I have worked with facilitators in the past and helped plan sessions, there is sometimes a hesitation to allow the time up front to have a genuine warm-up topic. Time is precious and I totally understand this. But what I saw in this moment, as I have seen and felt many times before, is just how important connecting meaningfully at the beginning of a session is. I would go so far as to say that in some sessions if you only did one thing — I would say it would be to connect!

One of the lessons of 2020 was just how important connection is. We need each other. We need to feel seen and heard. Time is precious and so is connecting with each other. This is one lesson that hopefully we have all learnt and are putting things in place to ensure that we put relationships and meaningful connection at the top of the priority list!

What I also saw as we shared our card choices, was connections form between people who didn’t know each other before the brief few minutes we had been together. And yet here they were, sharing openly and honestly — the joy of having the cards to help us communicate and connect!

Another reason for the importance of a group warm-up and sharing, was that we then ‘Zoomed’ into breakout rooms to share the next topic:

Go through your pack and find some cards that for you, describe what you need to do differently to thrive in 2021.”

Now, one of my lessons from our COVID world and having my connection through Zoom was how to, and how not to, have breakout rooms! I don’t know about you, but my experiences of being told I’m going to be in a breakout room with someone I’ve not met can be little daunting.

However, in this session, because we had some genuine sharing and connection, the feedback on the breakout room discussion was brilliant. We even had two people come back and say they had found their twin!

So what were some of the lessons to take forward and do differently in 2021?

We had some great insights like:

  • the importance of hope and positivity
  • breaking away from energy suckers
  • being with the right people
  • taking opportunities to share and connect

So, what about you? What did you learn from 2020? And how will you make sure you use the lessons to thrive in 2021?


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Leonie Cutts

Co-founder of CCS Corporation, co-developer of the CCS, facilitator and coach. Leonie is passionate about bringing people together for connection and growth in both their personal and professional lives.