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The Power of Passion

Nancy White
Last edited: 4/21/01

Someone once asked me how I could get excited about typing words on to a little screen at my desk. How it could ever compare to the excitement of a live group? Where does the energy come from if you don't have people in front of you?

I said the groups work with are "live." It is just the keyboard that is mechanical, not the connection I have with the people whose words I read and who read mine. The passion and excitement of being part of a functional group is just as real.

Facilitating online has three very personal components: self awareness, communication ability (particularly in text) and passion.

There are other words for passion: energy, enthusiasm, "zip." One of the key attributes of a good facilitator is that they have passion and can find that key to unlock it in others. Then the swirl of group passion is released and ready to be put to work.

So what does this mean online? How do we manifest our passion and energy in text?

  • Use authentic emotion in our writing
  • Be responsive to the group we are working with
  • Be aware of low offline personal energy and watching not to transmit the "low" to the group online (i.e. don't post when you are exhausted. People know.)
  • Demonstrate our passion by taking a moment to describe it, not just feel it at our solitary keyboards
  • Be skillful with the technological tools to bring the most "warmth" and humanity we can in their application
  • Learn to love the tools, the opportunity afforded by online interaction. We free up our passion when we are not pinned down with technological fears or worries.

What we do and feel comes across through our fingers on the keyboards. We have the chance to share this with others. Or, if we are to help people connect across time and space, perhaps the only opportunity some people have to connect with each other, we have the obligation to make online interaction passionate, human and effective.

Copyright 2001 Nancy White, Full Circle Associates

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