What really happens when we Meet?

By Chris Ogle on January 17th, 2019

For a long time now Link4Growth has championed the “No Agenda” approach to it’s community coffees, drinks evenings and other events.

Having no Agenda provides a space where no one has any expectation to ‘perform’ or do anything that they themselves do not want to do. Anyone can just come along and be themselves and participate in the way that works for them… so we meet, talk, listen, learn, connect, share and inspire.

If you have read some of the other blog posts on this website, the above might seem quite familiar, but underneath the covers there is more going on than you might think.

Link4Growth as an organisation is quite a challenge to understand. On the surface it is very simple. We provide spaces where people can come together to have a conversation with no Agenda… but after 7 years the organisation has proven to do a lot more than that… Link4Growth changes people. How so you might ask?

After 7 years of meeting people, talking, listening, sharing, laughing… sometimes crying… inspiring, being inspired, a lot happens. When you are amongst people and share time together, a bit of everyone rubs off on you… we affect one another… sometimes it might be good other times perhaps not… there is no right or wrong, there just is…

When we meet, yes, we get to know each other, yes we build deeper connections… but… what do we actually physically and mentally do whilst we are engaging?

We have conversations, we evaluate what we are hearing and the people we are talking too. We form opinions, we judge, we side with others, we gossip, we say things about others, we tell people our opinion (whether they asked for it or not), we signpost, we mould others (or try too), we introduce people to each other, we share our expertise and experience, we tell people what we think they should do… we do lots of different things… some, on reflection, we ought not to be doing, others… we silently congratulate ourselves on helping / connecting others and take pleasure in our selfless generosity and seeing things develop that we initiated.

At each event we attend we may do some or all of the above. Being amongst people who ‘lean towards’ wanting to give without expecting return, who are kind, and compassionate has an impact. Over the years as I surround myself with these ‘similar thinking’ people and continue to try and practice the 7 principles of Link4Growth, something profound begins to happen.

The tables turned… no longer was I involved in the creation of Link4Growth, rather Link4Growth was beginning to influence and create me.  On further reflection I saw emerging the desire to be better than I was yesterday, to do the ‘right thing’ rather than what was best for me… to slowly progress towards being the best human being I could be. To be the very best version of myself for those around me who ought to be getting the best me I could offer.

Now… I understand that at Link4Growth events what I am doing is ‘honing’ myself. I am practicing my social and engagement skills with each interaction. Each time we meet I am presented with new opportunities to work on myself, improve how I can serve and help others, and gradually perhaps move ever closer to discovering what my real purpose is… give meaning to my life.

All those who are “present” at the events are there for a reason… the people there provide me with engagement, conversation and the chance to work on being the best me. I am sure like many others I have come away from a conversation feeling that I had let myself down… not been the best I could be… reacted to a situation rather than considered before replying… created an impasse rather than agreeing to disagree… but it is all part of the learning and our own self growth. Next time I will do better… I promise myself that… and the time between now and then I practice as often as I can.

There is so much to learn… Link4Growth is a never ending source of education, amazement, inspiration, humility and guidance…

Link4Growth provides spaces to bring people together to have conversations… and then some…

Chris is passionate about community and has been involved with Link4Growth and community building since the start in 2012. Chris now devotes most of his time to facilitate connection, collaboration and community in the district of South West Herts as well as supporting the Link4Growth Association.

Blog Author

Chris Ogle