Published on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 19:49
By
Victoria Tuck
Lady looking at the camera with hat on

Crossing Thresholds module 1 

Dare to dream

I recently completed the first module of Crossing Thresholds (CT) with a cohort of fellow civil servants. I heard about the course through a mentor who was herself a graduate. That was back in 2016 and since then I’ve missed out on a place twice, much to my frustration. Starting the course four years later I realise the timing is actually perfect. I’ve spent the past year looking carefully at my life and addressing things that don’t serve me – creating the space to reconnect to myself and think seriously about what I want.

So was CT worth the wait? Absolutely!

We packed a lot into module one, which beyond getting to know each other focused on goal setting and action planning, with some other bits and bobs for good measure. There was a great balance of solo exercises, small and whole-group sessions, and while we were talking about some ‘big’ stuff at times there was a good atmosphere and some fun and laughter along the way. The two days were light on ‘lecturing’ – the facilitators gave precise and impactful input before sending us off to do some work, rather than sharing a deluge of tools and models.

I came away feeling energised and supported which did not necessarily surprise me – I have always found women-only spaces to be very special– whether on training, at social or special interest groups or even at the ladies’ pond at Hampstead Heath. But it did surprise me how well the course worked in in a virtual environment. I can’t ignore Covid-19 as the underscore to everything at the moment, and unfortunately it meant we had to do module one via Zoom. I have never been an early adopter of technology, and while I was keen to start CT I did wonder how it would work remotely– would participants gel? What would the vibe be like? How would we cope sitting at our screens for such a large portion of the day?

As it turned out, CT had made some adaptions including shortening the day and lengthening breaks, plus the Zoom functionality made for some really fun ice breaker activities. Those things combined with the great content meant I felt engaged and enthusiastic throughout, bar a minor post-lunch dip that I can’t really avoid wherever I am.

I also felt I got a really good sense of the other participants and that they were being really open and honest - encouraged by our facilitators. We were sharing deeply held desires and despite the space between us you could not miss how lit up people became when they dared to dream (something many of us said we hadn’t had the space to do in years). So overall the sessions affirmed for me that vulnerable conversations can work with technology, given the right conditions.

I’m now spending a bit of time reflecting on module one and tweaking the visions and plans I prepared in class and letting the key messages percolate a little. I’ve blocked some time every week to focus on this important work and I’m very excited to see where the course takes me.