Reflection & Engagement At The Speed of Twitter!

Last week, Jason Dykstra and I co-hosted the first ever twitter chat for the ADR community.  I saw this as an opportunity to bring together the ADR community of professionals, academics, students, practitioners, and ‘newbies.’

This opportunity turned into a fantastic experience- one that allowed me to engage people that I was already following on twitter as well as getting the opportunity to interact with new people.

The format was simple- everyone meet at 8pm on the last Wednesday of every month to discuss a predetermined topic that consists of approximately 10 questions.  Each questions is given about 5-7 minutes of discussion and each tweet contains the #ADRhubChat hashtag (if it doesn’t no one present for the chat will see it!). 

What is the best way to describe what went on during this one hour chat on the topic of “Twitter and ADR”? Adventurous, Fast Fun!

No, I am not describing some action-packed roller coaster ride but the twitter chat.  It really was each of those and more.

Adventurous- This was basically a new venture for most of the participants.  A heuristic learning model is one where you learn by engaging and trying it out for yourself.  Well, that was the case for me and those involved in this first chat as went on a one hour adventure- that really is the best way for me to explain the journey that was fast and fun (to be explained below).

The best part about it- I was not alone I had my fellow ADR friends going along for the ride as well.  The adventure allowed everyone to come together, on a new platform to share and learn.

Fast-  I have not added up the total amount of posts or participants but my estimates are about two dozen people and over a hundred tweets all in one hour.  I have participated in fast mediations before (yes, successful thank you very much) but this twitter chat really made me feel like I was time traveling as one hour basically felt like 5 or 10 minutes.  I was typing furiously, and putting eyes to work at double time reading the tweets as fast as they came in.  “Why use twitter for ADR,” “Who do You follow,” “ADR Twitter Success Stories,” and “Things that bother you on twitter” were some of the questions that garnered dozens of replies.  How can I explain how fast it was?  Think the Mediator’s Introduction, opening statements, and exploring ideas stage happening… all at the same time! 

Fun- With the above comment, it’s easy for people to say that sounds like information overload and something you would never want to participate in.  I’ll only speak for myself and it was the opposite- it was fun and lots of it.  I had the opportunity to have a really good time and engage in topics with many people all in one hour.  If anything, at the very least it was a great exercise for my brain to comprehend many things at a fast pace.  It reminds me of how during a mediation session there are many things happening at once including communication and nonverbal communication cues and elements that are easy to miss.  Practice helps us as mediators be aware and respond accordingly.  For the twitter chat it is similar- taking in lots of information and responding accordingly.

Overall I really enjoy this new experience and look forward to doing it again next month.  Of course there were some slight bumps on this adventurous, fast and fun event but that’s part of the reflective and learning experience.

I look forward to hopefully seeing you at the next twitter chat: September 28th, 8pm est., on twitter using #ADRhubChat.


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