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Who’s there behind these stored images? Last week was intense: a workshop with the board of an insurance company for three days followed by a one and a half day trip to London to present the U process connected to my personal development.

Together with my colleague Jan Willem we facilitated an amazing group of insurers. It was a starting team, not spoiled by too many workshops. The depth that we reached together was amazing. Quite a few tears were shed but the heartfelt connection was what stood out for me. We all have images of ourself and especially of our colleagues. We easily download our images and judgments on others and treat them accordingly. In the process we loose ourselves and our connection. But how often do we notice this?

In this workshop we asked the participants how they thought they were perceived by their team members. They checked if these perceptions were right. Then we asked them to what behavior these perceptions led, e.g.: “People think that I always need to be in control. What happens is that they evade me and I don’t know anymore what is happening in the organization. I’m getting suspicious and start checking. It’s a pattern that I hate and want to get rid off.” People were astounded how precise the perceptions and distorted images were. And how unhelpful to become a high performing team.

It was time to shed the masks and connect to who was behind it. A huge sense of relief and connection was palpable in the room. Pretty amazing. I realized that the essence of co-presencing is to build the connections between the people behind the masks. Support them to show who they really are and to build new connections.

In London I facilitated for the Global Leaders Academy a CEO circle at the Head Office of Unilever. Now it was time to share my personal story how I got rid of a few of my masks. I share it in the first chapter of my book Coming into Presence (available in the webshop). How I started to understand what ‘suspending judgment’ means and how I found my way into presence and meditation.

The picture above is from a New Years Eve party in Bali where I realized how comfortable it is to wear a mask.

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