S2EP15: Transform Zoom Fatigue and Energize Your Community with this Assessment Tool

Almost over night, most of us have joined both pop-up and professional online communities during this COVID-19 global pandemic. We thrive in community, because humans are meant to live and work in close relationship with others. But what happens when these virtual meetings miss their mark?


In this episode of the Mental Horizons Podcast, Virgil describes the Healing Community Matrix tool he designed during his career in nonprofit leadership. It is a tool he has used many times in therapeutic communities to assess the health and wellbeing of its members and their experience of connection (or not) as part of that community.


At the bottom of this blog post is a link to Virgil's Healing Community Matrix - An Assessment Tool for Supporting and Energizing Online Mental Health Gatherings.

That ‘closeness’ that we experience in physical gatherings is now being achieved via technological connections. Or at least attempted. As this new form of gathering continues we notice that it is fostering a sense of nurturing community in some and ‘Zoom fatigue’ in others. It is time to pay more attention to the attributes of healing community that are important in any mental health ‘gathering’.


The Five Key Attributes of a Healing Community


  1. Emotional Safety

  2. Belonging and purpose

  3. Kindness, respect and open communication

  4. Welcoming and appreciation of each members' participation

  5. A sense of mutuality


How to Use the Assessment Tool


Once every two weeks (or whatever feels natural to you) every member of your online gathering is invited to anonymously check one box on each line of the assessment grid, indicating their personal experience of the strength of each attribute within your gathering.


The answers are collected in a manner that preserves anonymity. The results are then averaged and presented in the next online gathering to those who have participated. The leader guides an appreciative dialogue about each result.


A community strengthening dialogue naturally emerges with both the positives and the challenges being discussed. Longer-term ideas and action planning naturally emerge. Implementation occurs. In whatever interval of time feels best, you repeat this process to review and celebrate positive changes, while observing and addressing new challenges.


When you pay attention to these attributes, you will naturally strengthen your online experience and keep it vital and not fatigued.


Download the PDF here and email Virgil with any questions at virgil@virgilstuckerandassociates.com


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Disclaimer: As therapeutic consultants, we advise, advocate, recommend, facilitate and empower, but we do not treat mental illness or addiction. We are not licensed mental health professionals, but will often refer you to professionals and programs for treatment. (Note: We have no financial relationship with any of these professionals or programs.)  Any consultation we give is for educational, informational and motivational purposes only and is not meant to replace professional psychiatric, psychological, programmatic, legal or financial advice you may need for yourself or your family member. 

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