Digital Surgery — approaches and challenges of working virtually

Digital Surgery — approaches and challenges of working virtually

More than ever, working effectively online is vital for ourselves as professionals and as humans. Until recently, seeing others and interacting face to face was a daily pleasure, with virtual interactions being a supplementary space to compliment the physical realm. Under lockdown, online meetings are now often the only type of meetings available to us, despite them being the preference of few people when given the choice. As a consequence, every interaction can have an undercurrent of sorrow, frustration and longing to be with others. As we each struggle to cope with the psychological strain of lockdown, managing shared emotion has become an even greater part of our work as consultants, trainers and any professional.

Inter-subjective anxiety is not the only challenge of working virtually. Under the surface of virtual interactions, hidden discord often lies in wait, such as unrecognised misunderstandings and repressed disagreements. Misunderstandings are common and sometimes trivial, but if they are identified slowly, the psychic realities of team members grow further apart, producing schisms in teams that are difficult to heal. In addition, all teams experience disagreements yet when teams are geographically dispersed, fellow feeling is reduced and it can feel easier to repress differences of opinion rather than compromising, leading to resentment and weakening of core group identity.

Through applying consultancy and leadership skills, it is possible to be vigilant towards the emotional state of online groups, to be constantly on lookout for vulnerability and potential discord with clients and teams. But it is difficult to maintain this high level of awareness, sensitivity, and attention to virtual groups alone.

Details about the Surgery

We will be meeting regularly on Zoom to discuss and unpack the challenges that are presented by working virtually. There is also the possibility of presenting your own case-study (from your experience) during a surgery and to listen, comment on and discuss other case studies presented. By joining in and discussing cases, participants will act as a peer group. Our aim is to find the value in sharing perspectives from around the world to identify common difficulties and novel viewpoints.

Each surgery is every 2 months on a Monday and lasts 75 minutes.

We have taken into account global time zones and alternate the surgery timings to reflect these. Each surgery begins either at 11.00 am or 2.00 pm.

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations | 63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS
hello@tavinstitute.org | +44 20 7417 0407
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