It's been great to see a flowering of facilitated peer-to-peer connecting. Organizations and their leadership are really seeing the power of one-on-one conversations to build culture.
Most people would like to have more social contact than they do. Most peoples' work can be enriched by thoughtful connecting. Simply facilitating 1:1 conversations can reduce isolation and fragmentation, build empathy and understanding, and help ideas and creativity flow.
My favorite instances of facilitated 1:1 connecting:
- Random Coffees. People in an organization who opt in get randomly paired up with someone they don't know to have coffee together. I first found out about these through Ryan Holmes' piece, which links to lots of fun similar initiatives.
- S'Ups. Ilya Kavalerov built this app that generates fresh random triads every week, bringing people from different parts of the organization together for a 20 minute "standing meeting" that sparks fresh connections and builds community.
- The People Walker. A guy in Hollywood offers his services to go on walks with people, helping them enjoy movement and social contact. It's grown quickly - now there are People Walkers all over LA!
Now, I see these as the start of something bigger and deeper. What if pairing (or trio-ing) people up is only the beginning? My experiences with authentic relating, nonviolent communication, and, yes, Argentine tango show me the incredibly co-creative potential that people in pairs can access, if they have the right structure and facilitation.
In the next few articles, I'll share how we can tap this potential more fully in an organizational context.