What are the GLP and Action Inquiry workshops all about? And is it possible to create true connection online, never meeting face to face? The newest addition to the Amara team Maria Lehto, took on the challenge to find out. She participated to the first online GLP workshop herself in beginning of June and had a chat with two other participants few weeks after the workshop to hear more about their personal development journeys.
I had the pleasure to chat with two of the nine participants from Amara’s first online GLP June 2020. Arthur and Ava have had very different paths in terms of personal development, but both agree that the workshop has given them good tools to continue on their journeys. More than anything else, they feel happy having participated the workshop and experienced the incredible connection that evolved and grew among the participants and the facilitators during the two weeks of the workshop. “Something happened with the connection… we don’t know what but something happened!”, says Arthur.
We believe that for an individual to participate a workshop on personal development, the journey of transformation has already begun, one way or another, and that the seed for change lies within these individuals. Ava tells about her journey by explaining that she has a persistent feeling of wanting to change something in herself, already several months before encountering Amara. However, she wasn’t quite sure how to begin the journey of personal transformation. As we at Amara have often noticed, things tend to fall in place when the time is right, and such was the case for Ava as well. Just in the right time one of her old friends recommended joining Amara’s upcoming workshop and that seemed like a good way forward.
Arthur’s path was different, since he was already familiar with the theory of GLP and Action Inquiry and was actively looking for a workshop around these themes to learn more. After searching for different options, he decided to join Amara’s workshop: “I felt that Amara has both feet on the ground in terms of leadership development and therefore I had a very good feeling that Amara was the right choice to do the training. And afterwards it turned out to be true, for me it was really spot on”.
Participating an online workshop in the area of personal development was new for both Arthur and Ava, and before the first sessions there was several questions in the air: Am I going to be able to connect with those other people behind their screens? Will it just feel like a one-sided lecture? Will it be possible to integrate this in my work? What should I even be expecting of this workshop? We at Amara like to think that there lies wisdom in not knowing what to expect, and this proved to be true for Arthur as well: “really what we did is not something you can expect up front, but it’s something you really have to go through and experience yourself”.
So what is it, exactly, that happened during the workshop?
As soon as the online sessions started there seemed to be such a strong connection between the participants. The previously unknown and strange people suddenly started to feel like a group of friends. Being able to truly connect with different people around the world and sharing experiences and stories with each other was one of the most valuable elements for both of the participants. “For me it was so eye opening that we could have this kind of environment online”, says Arthur. He feels that even though he has studied about the GLP and Action Inquiry before, the workshop gave him tools to apply the learnings in practise, possibly even in his work as a HR consultant and coach. He explains that getting people to engage in personal development in the work context can sometimes be a struggle, and that Action Inquiry might be a way forward in this area: “With action inquiry, personal development is really transformed more to the professional sphere, that’s great!”
Ava opens up about her personal journey during the workshop by explaining that to initiate the transformation in herself, she had to turn within and really think of all the things that make her feel scared. However, as both of the participants point out, the journey of transformation has just begun. In Ava’s words: “I don’t change immediately, but the workshop has given me a way forward”. She explains that she now carries the learnings with her in everyday life and tries her best to be conscious while making decisions. “I carry it with me in all my thinking and sometimes I manage to use it. Sometimes I miss it and only afterwards realise that I didn’t apply it”. And this awareness, we believe, is the key to personal transformation.
The materials during the workshop were quite extensive, and it surely requires time and reflection to truly apply them in everyday life. “I’m still kind of digesting”, says Arthur, “and at the same time I feel that I can apply it better to understand myself”. He adds that apart from understanding himself, deeper insight about the GLP has helped him to better understand the people around him.
Both participants agree that the connection and the environment that was created during the sessions had the biggest impact on them. “I felt so much care from the facilitators, Jane, Heidi and Alevtina, so much care for this workshop, so much patience and love, I felt like I was in very good hands.”, says Arhur and continues: “this is really the kind of training that changes your life and your way of being, because you can continuously apply it and it becomes part of who you are. But it needs proper time to digest”.
We all agree that the journey of personal transformation requires patience, and the full value of the workshop will gradually reveal itself during the upcoming years, for each participant in their own journey.
“This workshop is a good starting point for the journey of transformation, both on personal and for organisational level” – Ava.
If you, dear reader, are interested in learning more about GLP and Action Inquiry, you are warmly welcome to join our next GLP Foundation online workshop on 4th – 18th September, you can find more information about it here.
Jari Saarenpää is a Finnish charismatic consultant and business coach, who first got in contact with Amara in 2015, having read Johtaja, Sinun on pakko muuttua in Kauppalehti Optio. He continued following Amara, featured Heidi Gutekunst in his book Löydä sisäinen motivaatiosi in 2017 and in 2018 he decided it was time for the GLP … Continued
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