You deserve an apology. We did not fully live up to our values at the Quieteers Christmas Celebration and we’re sorry.
Our intention was to create a positive, safe, inclusive and connecting Meet Up – and we truly believed we had a plan to help everyone feel welcome and included.
Whilst many of you enjoyed the event and left feeling positive having made new connections, I was disappointed that vital elements of our plan did not come to fruition and some feedback has highlighted the impact of this. We know that our Meet Up did not feel calm and connecting for everyone present, and we are so sorry to those of you that had a less than positive experience.
We knew that we had limited time to set up the venue (we couldn’t get access until 5:30pm) and so it was always going to be hard work to pull it off. But, I didn’t account for the curveballs that left myself and Stacie feeling dysregulated on the night, including a number of team members being unavailable to be there for set up and some unable to attend at all, as well as repeating work that one team member had done but couldn’t provide because they were poorly on the day – nor did I anticipate quieteers being in the venue an hour before ‘doors opened’ (or losing my handbag!).
All of this meant that the warm, calm and clear welcome and orientation I imagined was not brought to reality.
Though Rose, Elaine and Julie did a truly wonderful job of welcoming and helping people to feel at ease, it wasn’t quite as smooth, guiding and reassuring as intended. This meant that not everyone was aware of all of our interventions to support connection between quieteers. Also, myself and Stacie had little time to pause and self-regulate so that we could be truly present with you all.
Whilst there was lovely chatter throughout the evening, I was also acutely aware that some people were struggling to connect with others. Again, I believe a lack of effective orientation at the start played a huge part in this, as did having too few quiet connectors present on the night.
As I always say, Quiet Connections is a research project – we are learning, stretching and growing alongside you all. And we are learning so much from this experience.
I believe in us and know our ideas can and do create inclusive positive experiences, but mistakes are inevitable and must be embraced as part of learning and growing. We know we need to sit with the discomfort, exploring and digesting the lessons of this experience to discover how to more effectively bring quieteers together next time.
So, I have emailed you all our feedback survey for you to complete – whether you loved the event or not, please tell us your story so that we can learn from you (thank you if you have already done this).
I’m not alone in feeling extremely disheartened about the experience provided, and any one of you having a less than positive experience is too many – you all matter to us.
We know we took on something huge, stretching our own comfort zones and bringing together for the first time over 50 people who consider themselves introverted, sensitive or shy – and a lot did go well that we can learn from too.
So, if you came along, please help us by completing the feedback survey.
Hayley & Team Quiet